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The St. Paul May 2014 Volume 48 Number 5

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The Sights and Sounds of Cinco de Mayo Susan Klemond Contributor


et ready for the brightest day of the season. On Saturday, May 3, the Cinco de Mayo Festival will charge up St. Paul’s West Side Mexican style with music, food, a parade, car show and activities for all ages. The West Side’s 32nd annual fiesta, organized by the Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, promises to be six blocks filled with fun. Here’s a look at what’s happening. All information was accurate as of press time but is subject to change. For more information, visit The festival takes place 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, May 3 on six blocks along Cesar Chavez Street, between Robert Street and Highway 52. Parking is available for $5 in lots near the fiesta. Local non-profit organizations will staff the lots and receive part of the proceeds. Visitors who take the bus can download and print a free round-trip Metro Transit bus pass to

Welcome to the ‘agri-hood’ Urban gardeners share supplies, advice and produce with their West Side neighbors. Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer

“Gardening nourishes the soul as well as the body, and connects us with the rhythms of nature and the world around us.” Maureen Hark, co-founder of Growing West Side.

Cinco de Mayo / Page 12

Photos courtesy of The Saint Paul Festival & Heritage Foundation

“We want (zip code) 55107 to be known as an ‘agri-hood,’” said Barb Rose, who along with Maureen Hark co-founded Growing West Side, a grassroots organization that is taking off like wildfire and spreading quickly across the West Side. From the way it looks they are well on their way to having their wish come to fruition. Growing West Side started with the “Beans on the Boulevard” program three years ago, and has grown to include a Seed Library at Riverview Library and gardening classes. A network of organizations and individuals are lining up to participate in the program, which promotes gardening and self-sustainability on the West Side. Groups involved include Neighborhood Development Alliance (NeDA), Neighborhood House, Icy Cup, Youth Farm and Market Project, Riverview Garden Club, Humboldt High School, Fire Station #6, West Side Community Organization, Riverview Library and El Burrito Mercado. River’s Edge Academy, 188 W. Plato Blvd., a public charter high school and another Growing West Side affiliate, recently hosted an indoor farmers’ market Growing West Side / Page 6


ISD 197 proposes tech levy and building/security bond Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


ay 6 is voting day for residents of Independent School District 197 (ISD 197), which includes Mendota Heights, West St. Paul, Sunfish Lake and parts of Eagan. On that day they will have an opportunity to vote “yay” or “nay” on a 10-year,

$1.7 million technology levy, and an $11.2 million building/security bond. The two items will be presented as separate questions on the ballot. Poll locations can be found at http://pollfinder.sos.state. or by calling the district hotline at 651-4037557. Polls will be open 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Tuesday, May 6.

Question 1 Question 1 is all about technology. The current 10-year technology levy, approved in 2004, is expiring. It has provided $490,000 annually to the district to fund technology equipment, software and staff. Voters are being asked to renew the 10-year levy, but at a rate of $1.7 million each year, an increase of

$1.2 million per year over the last levy. The renewal and increase will be used to maintain current technology systems and enable all students to have access to technology devices. The district plans to supply one computing device for every two students in grades K-2 and one computing device for each student in grades 3-12 district-wide. Stu-

dents in grades 9-12 will have the option of supplying their own device. Several years ago the district provided iPads for students at Heritage (grades 5-8), Pilot Knob (grades 3 and 4) and Moreland (grades 3 and 4). That reportedly positive experience provides a framework for a district-wide rollout. Since fall 2012, Dave

Sandum, the district’s director of technology, has led a study of the district’s current technology use and future tech needs. The study was developed in partnership with the district’s Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment department. The new ISD 197 Levy / Page 23



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125th anniversary, Celebrate West St. Paul Days

WSP has plenty of reasons to celebrate Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


orget about the potholes and pending reconstruction of Robert Street. It’s time to celebrate! West St. Paulites always celebrate their community pride in mid-May during Celebrate West St. Paul Days, but this year residents have an even bigger reason to celebrate. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the city. Events to commemorate that milestone begin during West St. Paul Days May 14-18 and continue throughout the year. Events include the grand re-opening of Harmon Park (TBD); dinner and movies in the park in June, July and August; Spooky Dome and bonfire, Friday, Oct. 31; a fall medallion hunt and tech event (TBD) and West St. Paul Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, a Fall history fair at Wentworth Library commemorating the past and looking toward the future. As the events are planned, specific information will be available on the city’s website — — and in upcoming issues of The St. Paul Voice.

WSP Days events The theme this year is “Paradise in West St. Paul,” and a series of events are planned throughout the city. The events were accurate as of press time but are subject to change. For updated information, visit www.celebrateweststpaul. org.

May 14 City of West St. Paul Open House, 1616 Humboldt Ave., 5-7 p.m. Reg-

ister to win prizes, including swim passes, golf passes, park shelter rental and more. Grilled hotdogs and lemonade will be provided. Meet the mayor, city council and city staff, and McGruff the Crime Dog. Participants may view demonstrations by the fire department, climb on a snowplow and sit in a squad car. West St. Paul police officers will give a nod to the 125th anniversary by wearing replica badges from the early 1900s throughout the year. Carnival, Signal Hills Shopping Center, near Robert Street and Butler. The carnival is held May 15 to 18. Hours are 3-10 p.m., Thursday; 3-11 p.m., Friday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Saturday; and noon-6 p.m., Sunday. Tickets are $1 each, or 25 tickets for $20 (2 to 4 tickets per ride). Kids must be at least 32 inches tall to ride rides. Those 48 inches and under may require an adult to ride with them for safety. Food for sale includes cotton candy, popcorn, caramel apples, mini donuts, corn dogs, cheese curds and fresh-squeezed lemonade.

May 16 Royalty Street Dance, Cherokee Tavern, 886 Smith Ave., West St. Paul, 7-11 p.m. - Dance the night away with High Brow and the Shades. Admission is $5 with West St. Paul Days button, $10 without. Purchase a button and have your name entered in a raffle for a 42-inch TV.

May 17 Softball tournament, West St. Paul Sports Complex, 1650 Oakdale Ave., West St. Paul, 8 a.m. Cash

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prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place finishers of this 12-team tournament. For more information, contact Bob Creamer at 651-270-3391. Family, Fitness and Food Fair with Kiddie Parade and Teddy Bear Band, Moreland Elementary School, 217 W. Moreland Ave., 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Visit vendors, exercise in the dance studio and listen to the Teddy Bear Band performance, which begins at 10 a.m. WSP SINGS, St. Croix Lutheran High School Auditorium, 1200 W. Oakdale Ave., West St. Paul, 7 p.m. Warm up your vocal chords all you amateur singers between the ages of 15 and 25. The West St. Paul Sings competition is a preliminary to the statewide competition called Minnesota Sings, which will be held Sunday, Sept. 28 at the Holiday Inn St. Paul. Winners of West St. Paul Sings will advance to the statewide competition, where winners will receive $2,500 for first place, $1,000 for second and $500 for third. To enter the competition, call Kelly at 612-202-0802. Celebrate West St Paul Grand parade, begins at 1 p.m. at Charlton and Butler. Due to next year’s reconstruction plans for Robert Street, the Celebrate West St. Paul Days board of directors has changed the parade route to showcase the Smith Avenue business district and surrounding neighborhood. The new route begins at Butler and Charlton avenues, proceeds to Smith Avenue, where it runs north along Smith to Annapolis, then turns east to finish at Charlton and

Dodd Road. The staging area is on Butler between Stryker and Charlton. The Grand Marshal is Ed Iago, who knows the city inside and out. He was raised in West St. Paul, graduated from Henry Sibley High School, is a member of Augustana Lutheran Church, and has been appointed, elected and willingly served on local government boards and committees in a variety of capacities. A few of these areas include serving as president of the West St. Paul Economic Development Authority for five consecutive years, appointed vice chair of the Public Safety Committee for five years, currently the elected vice president of the South Metro Fire Board, and since 2006 he has represented West St. Paul’s Ward II as city council representative. Iago has managed his public service in the midst of raising seven children with his wife Karen (they now have 13 grandchildren), working for 35 years

in the commercial banking industry and coaching. He is a licensed soccer coach and has coached women’s soccer at Henry Sibley High School and Hamline University. Iago also finds time to volunteer with Big Brothers, serve as an advisor for Neighborhood Development Alliance (NEDA), and ride his Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Rock the Barn & Farm Festival, Dodge Nature Center, 1715 Charlton St., West St. Paul, 3-8 p.m. After the parade, join the birthday celebration and fun at Dodge Nature Center. The event features live music, old-fashioned farm games, barn visits, animal demonstrations and the Dodge Dash trail run, hosted by the West St. Paul YMCA.

May 18 Kiwanis pancake breakfast and silent auction at the YMCA, 150 E. Thompson Ave., West St. Paul, 7 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Royal Ambassadors coronation, St. Croix Lutheran High School, 1200 Oakdale Ave., West St. Paul, 1 p.m. Vying for Queen of West St. Paul Days are Elena Dickey, Amy Kuckler and Lauryn Alley. As of press time, Alexis DeMoss was the sole Little Miss candidate. Junior Miss candidates are Isabel Brandt, Celia Dickey and Alexa Christiansen. The selection of West St. Paul Royal Ambassadors is based on communication skills, volunteering and service efforts, leadership abilities and the desire to further  their education. The five young ladies selected will travel throughout the  state representing West St. Paul at various festivals and events. They will also volunteer in the community at events like the Optimist Club  annual spelling bee and at Library Days at the Wentworth  Public Library. The Royal Ambassadors will represent the community a minimum of 50 times during their reign.

Lower and Middle School Information Programs Lower School grades PreK – 5 Wednesday, May 7 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Middle School grade 6 coed and grades 7 – 8 all-girls Thursday, May 8 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Not for School, but for Life

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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.

Call or visit: 651-683-1700 • St. Paul Voice - May 2014 - Page 3

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An eye-witness to history WSP native recalls how city went from rural to urban Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


o better understand how the city of West St. Paul has changed since its founding 125 years ago, we spoke with Francis “Bud” Trost. This native son has been eyewitness to the dramatic changes that transformed the city from rural to urban. He turns 90 this summer and therefore

has experienced 72 percent of the city’s existence. Trost grew up in the slow lane of horse-drawn wagons. He huddled by a wood-burning stove during cruel Minnesota winters, attended a one-room school house, and was tempted to eavesdrop on party-line telephones, as most were tempted to do back in the day. His sharp mind is filled with stories that tell of a

bygone world, stories that paint a picture of the city throughout its history.

The early years Born on August 24, 1924, Trost vividly recalls his childhood days on a dairy farm located near present day Robert Street and Marie Avenue. His earliest memory is of pulling a load of wood in his coaster wagon up to the house. His

family tilled the soil of the 85-acre farm with a horse and plowshare, milked 23 cows by hand, and delivered milk to their to West St. Paul customers in a horsedrawn wagon. Although much of the work was routine it did involve a brush with some infamous names with scary rap sheets. Of all his father’s dairy customers, the ones he will never forget are Al-

Trost takes a trip down memory lane while paging through a book that was published for the city of West St. Paul’s Centennial.

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vin Karpis and Ma Barker and her boys. They were famous and dangerous guntotin’ bank robbers and kidnappers who had chosen to rent a nondescript house at 1031 Robert Street to hide from the “coppers.” It was a smart move since most people expected them to be hiding in the big city of St. Paul. Harry Trost told his son that when he delivered their milk he never saw them but they always had money in the empty bottles. Neighbors said they saw the renters carrying violin cases and had heard that they played in an orchestra at lake resorts around the Twin Cities. The owner of the house eventually recognized his tenants from photos in a magazine. Somehow the gang got wind that the jig was up and vanished into thin air before law enforcement could catch them. After their pictures appeared in the local paper, Harry Trost realized who his customers had been. The Trosts will go down in the history books as dairy farmers to some of St. Paul’s most notorious gangsters. The family farm was bordered by Humboldt, Livingston and Marie avenues, and Mendota Road. A halfmile driveway led from Robert Street to the family’s large farmhouse, situated near the intersection of today’s Humboldt and Marie avenues. The Post Cafe and a vegetable stand were the only nearby businesses on South Robert Street at the time, and housing reached only to Butler Avenue. From there it turned rural, and pastures, fields, barns and farmhouses dotted the landscape as far as the eye

could see. The Trosts farmed about 40 acres to grow hay and oats, and harvested wood from the property’s thick groves. Shep, the family dog, was always close by and was pretty good at bringing the cows in at night. Harry Trost started working the farm after he married Josephine Lothenbach, the second youngest of seven daughters born to Joseph and Elizabeth Lothenbach. When her mother died the following year, Josephine, Harry and newborn Bud moved in, and Josephine took over as caregiver for her father. The farmhouse at the time was modernized with electricity but still had an outhouse, an ice box and a wood-burning stove.

Working the farm By age six, Bud was working as a pint-sized farmhand driving a horse-drawn hay wagon into the fields at harvest time. The hay had to be cut and raked into stacks, then dried. With the pioneer “can do” spirit inherited from his parents and grandparents, Trost reined in the horses alongside the dried hay stacks and waited while older farmhands used pitchforks to toss the dried hay into the wagon. Harvest time became a community event. Trost recalled that while harvesting wheat and oats, the owner of a threshing machine traveled from one farm to another and neighbors joined forces to help as they followed the machine from farm to farm. The women worked hard preparing banquet spreads for the hungry workers.

C ommunity Celebrations “We had pies with every meal,” recalled Trost. His mother also made her famous coffee cake with sliced apples and syrup on top. By age eight, Trost was helping feed the cows, and his parents discovered that he had the strength in his hands to start milking. He was assigned the gentlest cow and learned how to milk and take care of her. His parents milked the other 22 twice a day, at 5 a.m. and 5 p.m., a chore that took about an hour and a half. The family carried fresh milk in five-gallon pails to the milk house where it cooled in concrete tanks filled with ice. Later they bottled the raw milk in half-pint, pint and quartsize bottles. They skimmed off the cream that rose to the top and sold it in halfpint containers. Bottles were washed and sterilized before being filled to prevent impurities and appease the health inspectors. After working in the barn, Trost would wash up, put on a clean pair of overalls and sit down to a hearty breakfast. It might be pancakes one day, and eggs and cornbread the next — al-

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ways something different. Then it was time for school. He had his choice of cutting through a pasture on his way to the McGrath grade 1-4 elementary school at the corner of Charlton and Wentworth, near today’s St. Stephan’s Church, or walking a half-mile to Robert Street and catching a “homemade bus” driven by Mr. Ramisch. The bus was actually a truck rigged with a topper and benches in the bed for the young scholars. The country route ran between Oakdale and Delaware with stops along Robert Street and Charlton. McGrath was a one-room school house, and in 1934 had 18 students in grades 1-4, and one teacher, a young Miss Smith. Grades 5-6 were at Dodd Road School, at Dodd and Smith Avenue. What Trost remembers most were the six weeks he missed school when he had whooping cough. The doctors made house calls back then and recommended lots of rest as well as the placing of mustard plasters on his chest to try and loosen up the phlegm that was settling in his lungs.

While Trost was at school, his dad delivered the milk. There were plenty of dairy farms in the area and each had its own set of customers. The going rate in the late ’20s was nine cents a quart, and five cents a pint. Young Bud helped with deliveries on the weekends.

Severe weather The years of 1934 through 1936 remain crystal clear in Trost’s mind because of the particularly harsh winter conditions, with heaps of snow and temperatures dipping into the minus 30 range for several days in a row. “The barns were OK because of the heat from the animals, but we had to use kerosene heaters in the motorized panel truck (purchased in 1931) to keep the milk from freezing,” he recalled. When Trost was 13, his dad began to feel the aches and pains of what was then called chronic rheumatism, most likely arthritis. His joints and back stiffened and he couldn’t keep up with the heavy work. Trost had to quit school after eighth grade to take over the

The Trost family farm, located near present-day Robert Street and Marie Avenue, is commemorated in this painting by Trost’s son, Tim. farm at age 15. He plowed 40 acres with a horse and plowshare and milked most of the cows. “It had to be done,” he said. “We had to keep going.” His mother did the bookkeeping and Bud’s younger

brother Calvin helped with the milking, bottling and delivery. This was during the Great Depression, so the Trosts were grateful that they had work and food. Trost was witness to one of the most memorable events in Minnesota his-

tory. He began making his milk rounds on November 11, 1940, which started out as a warm, balmy morning with light fog. By 10 a.m. the first flakes of snow appeared, the wind picked up Bud Trost / Page 19 For More Information


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Paula Hill serves as a seed librarian at the Riverview Library kiosk.

Growing West Side from page 1

and seed exchange/seed distribution event. Activities included demonstrations on indoor gardening and bread-baking. Vendors who will ply their wares at the upcoming West Side Farmers’ Market were on hand, and participants were eager

to purchase seeds and start planting their gardens.      “The time is ripe around the country,” said Rose. “The food movement is growing all over the place, in urban neighborhoods like the West Side, small towns and suburban com-

munities. We are a microcosm of what’s happening in many other cities.” There are many reasons to tap into urban farming, including food scarcity. Rose points out that on the West Side many people don’t have enough food to eat so food is being grown out of necessity. “We are connecting the

dots and being intentional,” she said. “Growing West Side is about tapping into talent, creativity, interest and knowledge that people have around here for gardening. We want to nurture and cultivate those who are just starting out and those who are making a living.” Added Hark, “We use these tools to grow a stronger, safer community. We want our gardening programs to become community gathering places. We wish to cultivate a culture of sharing in the neighborhood by passing along our extras to others.” What West Siders are learning is that urban farming can take many forms. Vegetables, herbs and flowers can be grown in planters, in community garden plots, on boulevards, medians and even indoors. Is it estimated that households can save up to $700 yearly by growing fresh herbs and lettuce in a simple home garden.

Growing West Side Programs Beans on the Boulevard and the Bean Summit, 1-3 p.m., Saturday, May 3 at

Riverview Library, 1 George St. - The “Bean Summit” at Riverview Library kicks off the 2014 bean growing season. Participants will learn about the history of beans, heirloom beans, best practices for growing, how to make a bean salad, and will be able to choose bean seeds for their Beans on The Boulevard gardens. Closer to planting time, participants will also receive compost, seeds, a 6-foot rebar structure on which to grow the beans and any help needed to plant their garden on the boulevard or other space visible from the street. In exchange, growers make a commitment to tend the garden and share the harvest with their neighbors. Growing West Side got its humble start with Hark’s “Beans on the Boulevard” program. It began as a way to promote vegetable gardening and healthy eating by planting beans along West Side Boulevards. Initially, a call went out for 30 participants. Eighty-five responded, and the program continues to grow. Last year a grant from Tasting Cultures Foundation enabled a neighborhood Bean Tasting

Garden to be installed at La Placita, a small plaza near State and Cesar Chavez streets. This year the group will plant a salsa garden at La Placita. Growing West Side Seed Library at Riverview Library, 1 E. George St. Hours are from 5:307 p.m., Wednesday, and 12:30-2:30 p.m., Saturday. “It’s (the seed library) just a cabinet that has been beautifully decoupaged with seed catalog packets,” said Rose, “but there are over 100 varieties of tomatoes, peppers, flowers,  beans…a little bit of everything. Seeds don’t take up a lot of space.” You don’t need a card at this library, just an interest in learning to garden and a willingness to share what you grow with others. Seeds have been donated with the understanding that they will be shared with the community at no cost.  Up to three packets of seeds can be “checked out.” Seedsaving techniques will be taught at gardening classes at Riverview Library, with the hope that gardeners will return seeds to the library at the end of the season for use

PARADISE in West St. Paul... West St. Paul Days Calendar of Events... Join the fun May 14-18 May 14: City of West St. Paul Open House Please join us at City Hall for the City of West St. Paul Open House. 5-7 p.m.

May 14 to 18: Carnival We are excited to have the carnival back, thanks to Azure Properties, owner of Signal Hills, its tenants for their generous donation of the site, and producer Gopher State Expositions. Fun rides and delicious fair food, such as cotton candy, popcorn, caramel apples, mini donuts, corn dogs, cheese curds, fresh squeezed lemonade, and more. Wed & Thurs. 1-10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; and Sunday Noon-6 p.m. Tickets $1 each/25 tickets for $20 (rides require 2 to 4 tickets per ride) Kids should be at least 32 inches tall to ride rides. Under 48 inches may require an adult to ride with for safety.

May 16: Royalty Street Dance Cherokee Tavern, 7-11 p.m., Highbrow and the Shades, $5 cover with a WSP days button. May 17: Softball Tourney 8 a.m. at West St Paul Sports Complex. Contact Bob Creamer at 651-270-3391.

May 17: Family, Fitness, and Food Fair with Kiddie Parade and Teddy Bear Band 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Moreland Elementary School. Teddy Bear Band begins at 10 a.m. May 17: Grand Parade NEW PARADE ROUTE starting at Charlton and Butler, Butler to Smith Avenue, Smith Avenue to Annapolis, Annapolis to Charlton. Starting at 1 p.m.

May 17: West St. Paul Sings Vocal competition at 7 p.m. at St. Croix Lutheran High School. Call 612-202-0802 to reserve your spot. (This is not a Karaoke contest). There is no cost to participate, but participants must work, live or attend school in the West St. Paul school district. May 17: Rock the Barn & Farm Festival 3-8 p.m. at Dodge Nature Center

May 18: Royal Ambassadors Coronation 1 p.m. at. St Croix Lutheran High School. Join us to crown the 2014 Royal Ambassadors.

May 18: Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast 7 a.m.-1 p.m. at West St. Paul YMCA, includes a silent auction.

Celebrate West St. Paul Days is a private organization unaffiliated with the City of West St. Paul. However, it is a community event that the City supports and everyone is welcome to participate in the many events.

Visit www. for the most up-to-date information. Page 6 - St. Paul Voice - May 2014

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next year. Volunteer seed librarians are on hand to answer questions and supply information. “We want to get kids interested in gardening, and then their parents,” said Hark, who works with neighborhood youth Wednesday evenings in the library basement. She said Spanish, Hmong and Somali translators are needed to help with translating written material for the Seed Library. For more information, contact Maureen at growingwestside@ Growing West Side classes - Free or low-cost gardening classes are offered throughout the year at the Riverview Library. Topics include early season crops, soil and compost, pests and disease in the vegetable garden, chickens in the city, edible landscaping and growing small fruits in northern climates. Annual West Side Plant Exchange at the Stryker Community Garden at the corner of Stryker and Elizabeth, 1-3 p.m., Saturday, May 17 - Load up on perennials, seeds, vegetable and flower starts, house plants, garden tools, yard art and other garden-related goods. There are always extra plants, so people are invited

to attend even if they don’t have anything to exchange. This event is sponsored by the Riverview Garden Club with support from Growing West Side. Gardening advice will also be offered from area gardeners. West Side Farmers’ Market at Icy Cup parking lot at the corner of George and Stryker streets, 8:30 a.m.12:30 p.m., Saturdays, May 31 through mid-October. “The West Side is fertile ground for producing and providing access to healthy food,” said Rose. “We’re excited that we’re attracting a large variety of vendors. We are also accepting EBT and WIC this year so we hope that more folks from our area will be attracted to buying food at the market. Credit cards are accepted by most vendors.” The market features locally grown vegetables, eggs, meat, flowers, baked goods and other products, along with music and other activities. Vendors will include Vue Family farm, Hobo Gardens, West Side Youth Farm and Market, River’s Edge Academy and Humboldt High School. Both of these West Side high schools have a curriculum focused on the environment. Ryan Horton of Silent Sun Farm will supply fresh

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vegetables, eggs and perennial greens from his urban farm in Frogtown. Horton is offering community supported agriculture shares to the neighborhood, which means that for a fee, each week he will deliver a bushel basket of fresh, organically grown vegetables from his garden throughout the growing season. Orders can be placed for chickens, turkeys and pork, which he raises on rented land in West Lakeland.  West Sider Paula Hill will have Wisconsin organic maple syrup at her stall, and another West Sider, Anne Street, will offer Anne’s Jams. West Side gardeners and growers interested in becoming “micro-vendors” may rent a table and tent at $5 per week. For more information, contact Barb or Damon at wsfm.vendor@ Orchard Project - Growing West Side is partnering with several agriculture programs that specialize in growing fruit in northern climates. They have selected three sites where 15 to 18 apple, pear and cherry trees will be planted. The first is next to Fire Station #6, 33 E. Cesar Chavez St. “Firemen can pick apples and make apple pies when not fighting fires,” said Hark with a smile.

Ryan Horton of Silent Sun Farm, an urban farm in the Frogtown neighborhood, talks with a customer at a Growing West Side event held in early April at the River’s Edge Academy charter school. The other sites are at Guadalupe Alternative Programs (GAP) School at Concord Street and Highway 52, and Neighborhood Development Alliance (NeDA) at the Wabasha Center, 481 S. Wabasha St. The fruit will be available to everyone in the community. Local experts will also offer

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classes on planting, pruning, pest control, growing and harvesting methods, and fruit preservation. Growing West Side is looking for volunteers to teach orchard planning, planting and tree maintenance. They are also seeking monetary and

in-kind donations to purchase trees and supplies. Harvest Festival - Expect a lively, bustling affair in October when the bounty from the growing season will be shared with the entire West Side community at the West Side Farmers’ Market.


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S ports Sibley’s Jake Jaeger captures Triple A Award

Your community news and information source

John E. Ahlstrom Staff Writer


n Saturday, Mar. 15 at halftime of the Class AA championship basketball game at the Target Center, Henry Sibley High School senior Jake Jaeger was introduced as the 2014 recipient of the Minnesota State High School League’s Triple A Award for Region 3AA. The award recognizes student excellence in the areas of academics, the arts and athletics.

Academics In the course of our interview, Jake explained to me how excited he became when Sibley physics teacher, Peter Bohacek, introduced him to “direct measurement videos” that enabled him to determine the precise velocity at which an automobile was traveling without the use of radar. Based on that sort of curiosity and the number of Advanced Placement courses he has taken at Sibley, it is not surprising to learn

that the young man carries a 4.0 grade point average. His academic focus is the sciences. In addition to his admiration for Bohacek, he also speaks highly of Erik Klusnik, who has been his math and calculus teacher the past three years. “I love his teaching style because it is discussion based,” said Jaeger. “He presents challenging problems and dares us to engage in brainstorming sessions to come up with solutions that even he doesn’t know.” Klusnik responds in kind. “Jake exhibits a sense of wonder and an excitement for learning that is completely genuine,” he said. “He makes class a better experience for everyone because of the manner in which he conducts himself and the positive way he views the world around him.”

The Arts

Jaeger was introduced to music by his parents at a very young age and has played the alto saxophone since he was in the fifth

impressive impact in the short period of time she has been here.” He admits he doesn’t know if he will continue his music career on a formal basis after graduation, but he insists it will always remain an important part of his life.


Jake Jaeger was co-captain and starting goaltender on the 2013 Sibley soccer team. grade. He has been a member of the Sibley Varsity Band for four years and has also been an All-Conference member of the 15-piece Jazz Band. That group rehearses three days a week at 7:30 a.m. (an hour before school starts) and has traveled to numerous compe-

titions, including the Jazz Festival in Eau Claire, Wis., where they performed April 4 and 5. “Our band director, Amy Powers, has not been at Sibley very long,” he said, “but she has made numerous positive changes to the program and has made an

Jaeger’s school day does not end with the sound of the final bell at 3:10 p.m. In addition to his academic prowess and participation in music activities, he has been an integral part of the soccer, hockey and baseball programs during his tenure at Sibley. “I’ve played all three of those sports since I was a toddler,” he said. “What I really appreciate most about competing is the team aspect of it,” he said. “It has given me the opportunity to get to know and hang out with a lot of kids that without sports, I might never have met.” Jaeger was a member of the varsity soccer team for three years and the starting

goaltender and co-captain of the 2013 team. In the late fall, he exchanged his soccer cleats for ice skates and was a defenseman on the hockey team. He earned three letters on the ice sheet and was a tri-captain his senior season. He is now back outdoors as the first baseman for the Warrior baseball team. In all, he has earned eight varsity letters in three different sports. “We didn’t always achieve all of our goals or win as much we had hoped,” he said, “but I have no regrets. I have been blessed with numerous great coaches and forged friendships with teammates that will last a lifetime.” Jaeger has yet to make a final selection on which college he will attend, but he has narrowed his list to four: Purdue University, Boston University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison or the University of Minnesota. His resume strongly suggests that the school he chooses will be enriched by his enrollment.

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S ports Humboldt H-Club inducts seven into the Hall of Fame

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John E. Ahlstrom Staff Writer


he ninth annual Humboldt H-Club Athletic Hall of Fame gala took place at the Prom Center in Oakdale on April 8. The post-dinner festivities included the presentation of two Lifetime Achievement Awards, recognition of the 1966 City Championship baseball team and the induction of six athletes and one coach into the Athletic Hall of Fame.

Lifetime Achievement Awards Gilbert de la O, class of 1963, has achieved iconic status on the West Side as a leader, neighborhood activist and a voice for the voiceless. His most lasting contribution in athletics was his hands-on involvement in the formation of the West Side Booster Club in 1970. Over the course of its 44-year existence, the organization has provided positive and unique athletic opportunities for countless young men and women. The new fields that are in the process of being constructed on the land adjacent to the Neighborhood House will bear his name. Tony Ruiz, class of 1968, who had a stellar athletic career at Humboldt High School, was also part of the group that organized the West Side Booster Club. His career with the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department spanned 38 years. In addition, he has worked over 3,000 combined football, baseball, softball and adaptive soccer and floor hockey games in the course of his 39-year officiating

career. Ruiz was integral to the formation of the Humboldt H-Club Athletic Hall of Fame and was presented the Neighborhood House Alumnus of the Year Award in 2009.

Championship Baseball Team The 1966 Humboldt baseball team shared the City Conference Championship with Highland Park. They avenged their only regular season loss by defeating the Highlanders in the District 15 title game and then beat Osseo in the Region 4 semi-final. They failed to advance to the state tournament in excruciating fashion when Hastings, trailing 3-1, scored three runs with two outs and no one on base in the bottom of the seventh inning. Team members include Tony Ruiz, Mark Cortez, James Quirk, Frank Rodriguez, Don Luna, Robert Sutherland, Robin Eggum, James Tischler, Ralph Nordstrom, Richard McNary, Steve Medelin, Joseph Herrera, John Adams, Thomas Sanchez and Ruben Delgado. The team was coached

by Hall of Fame legend Ken Mauer.

Hall of Fame inductees Joe Lewis, class of 1950, was described by his high school teammate Harvey Misel as “the toughest football player I ever saw.” In terms of size and strength, he was a man among boys. At the same time that another Joe Louis was building his legend in the boxing ring, Humboldt’s Joe Lewis was building his legend on the gridiron and the basketball court. He was named to the All-City football team as a junior and senior. Robin Eggum, class of 1966, was a left-handed pitching prodigy. As an 11-year-old, he struck out 18 batters in a six-inning game. In a playoff game as a junior at Humboldt, he recorded 13 strikeouts in 5 and two-thirds innings of relief, but he saved his best for last. As a senior, he recorded two no-hitters, including one against Minneapolis Roosevelt in the Twin Cities game. In the 1966 playoffs, he gave up a total of seven hits in the

four games he pitched. He was a two-time first team All-City performer. Dave Robinette, class of 1970, was a three sport star at Humboldt. At 120 pounds, he was diminutive in stature, but he played both ways on the football team and was a four-year letter winner on the wrestling team, capturing AllCity honors twice. As the shortstop on the baseball team, he was named AllCity as a senior and earned lifetime bragging rights after connecting for a triple off of Central’s Dave Winfield, who is enshrined in the Baseball Hall Fame in Cooperstown. Mike Munoz, class of 1975, ran track and was a member of the 1974 football team that won the City Championship, but it was on the wrestling mat that he truly thrived. He wrestled varsity as an eighth grader and was an integral part of the Humboldt squad that won five consecutive City titles without losing a single conference dual meet. In the

process, he won three District 15 individual championships and anchored the 1975 victory over Edison in the Twin Cities Championship match. John Martin, class of 1978, had a marvelous basketball career at Humboldt. Nicknamed the “Iceman,” legend has it that he was the first person to ever dunk a basketball at Neighborhood House and was responsible for bringing the term “playing above the rim,” into the Humboldt lexicon. He was a three-time All City selection and represented Humboldt in the state All-Star game. He had a stellar collegiate career at the University of Minnesota-Morris. Heather Nelson-Beverly, class of 1988, is perhaps the finest tennis player, male or female, ever to compete at Humboldt High School. She started playing at the age of eight and as a 15-year-old was ranked #3 in the Upper Midwest. She qualified for the Class AA state tournament as a ninth grader, the

first Humboldt student to do so. On a totally different level, Nelson-Beverly is now an entertainment attorney and has represented the likes of Rhianna, Selena Gomez, Janet Jackson and Usher. Who dares to think Humboldt grads are not “movers and shakers” on the world stage. Tim Hausker led Humboldt athletes to more state championships than any coach in Humboldt history. He began working with physically and cognitively impaired students at Bridgeview School in St. Paul and became the first coach in Humboldt’s adaptive program in 1996. In the physically impaired division, his team won state championships in soccer in 1999, 2000 and 2002, in softball in 2001 and 2005 and in floor hockey in 2000. What he is most proud of is that all eight teams that he coached into the state tournament earned the team sportsmanship award.

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S ample St. Paul

Your community news and information source

On the Town Children’s Museum

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

“Native Voices: New England Tribal Families” is presented through May 11. Explore five thriving New England communities as they work to balance cultural traditions with life in a modern world. “Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice” is presented through May 26. Children will go face-toface with the prehistoric world and meet dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes. Tickets are $9.95. Explore the museum free of charge 9 a.m.-5 p.m. the third Sunday of each month.

Fitzgerald Theater

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

“For Pete’s Sake” Beginning at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 3, a colorful collection of singers, musicians, spoken word artists, social leaders and filmmakers will honor one of the world’s most influential folksingers, Pete Seeger. The event will celebrate the many phases of Seeger’s life in multi-media and with an abundance of music from across the cultural spectrum. The event will feature Robert Robinson, Prudence Johnson, John Gorka, Estaire Godinez, Ann Reed, Larry Long, Joyful

Noize, Peter Ostroushko, Waubanewquay Day, Dan Chouinard, Tonia Hughes, Cyril Paul, Kevin Fuhrman, Brian Barnes, Timothy Frantzich, Brittnay Delaney, Mitch Walking Elk, Courntey Yasmineh, Aimee Bryant, Patty Kakac, Barb Tilsen, Pop Wagner, Tony Glover, Charlie Maguire, Marc Anderson, Joe Savage, Cameron Wright, Lorna Her Many Horses and Chastity Brown. Minneapolis filmmaker William Eigen will share footage from his critically acclaimed documentary movies about Seeger. Tickets are $30. EELS Live in Concert - Singer/songwriter Mark Oliver Everett will perform at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, May 25. Tickets are $34.

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“Love” is presented May 27-June 1 at the Landmark Center as part of the Flint Hills Children’s Festival. Also showing during the festival are “STEP AFRIKA!” at the Ordway, “De Temps Antan” at the Lab Theatre and “Alice in Wonderland” at the Lehr Theatre.

History Center 345 W. Kellogg Blvd. St. Paul 651-259-3000

“Sights, Sounds and Soul: Twin Cities Through the Lens of

Charles Chamblis” is presented through January 4, 2015. Affectionately called “The Pictureman,” Chamblis had a knack for being in the right place at the right time as he documented

the Twin Cities AfricanAmerican community. The exhibit features more than 60 images, alongside artifacts, including suits worn by Prince and Jellybean Johnson in the movie Purple Rain.

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Page 10 - St. Paul Voice - May 2014

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S ample St. Paul “Toys of the ‘50s, ’60 and ‘70s” is presented May 24-January 4, 2015. Experience the stories behind popular toys, such as Gumby, Barbie, Slinky, Mr. Potato Head, Spirograph and Hot Wheels, and how they helped kids capture the joy of childhood. “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,” “Grainland,” “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

$42-$40, with discounts for seniors and students.

Landmark Center

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

Pan Asian Festival, noon-5 p.m., Sunday, May 4. Celebrate Asian Pacific Heritage month with nonstop Pan Asian dance performances, games and Asian arts activities. Free. St. Paul Civic Symphony will perform a Mother’s Day Concert at 1 p.m., Sunday, May 11. Free.

The Saint Paul City Ballet will present a free performance at noon, Tuesday, May 13, featuring excerpts from the company’s repertoire. Urban Expedition: Brazil, 1-3 p.m., Sunday, May 18. This event features Brazilian music, colorful dancers, crafts and animals from Fantasy Corral.  Wood Turning Demonstration, noon, Sunday, May 18 in the Gallery of Wood Art. This exhibit provides insight into the history, process-

Your community news and information source es and materials of wood turning. Free. A children’s performance titled “Love” is presented May 27-June 1 in the F.K. Weyerhaeuser Auditorium, as part of the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival. Performance times are 11 a.m., May 27, 30 and June 1, and 9:15 a.m. and 1 p.m., May 28-29. Tickets are $5.

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

TU Dance will perform at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, May 10. This 10th anniversary dance concert will feature Alvin Ailey’s duet Twin Cities from his legendary “The River” (1970), repertory favorites, and the Minnesota premiere of Uri Sands’ “One.” Tickets are $23-$48. “Bring It On: The Muscial” is presented May 13-18. A high-flying musical of the challenges and unexpected bonds formed through the thrill of extreme competition. Tickets are $33-$120.

“Working Boys Band” is presented May 3-June 1. In a world before child

labor laws, many young people got factory jobs to help their families get by. In 1918, Professor C. C. Heintzeman formed the Working Boys Band to bring structure and meaning into the lives of those children. Through music, discipline and compassion, Heintzeman shaped a rough-andtumble group of young men into a Twin Cities institution. Tickets are

The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra presents “The Turn of the Screw” May 23-24. Tickets are $12-$42. De Temps Antan presents traditional Quebecois music May 31-June 1 at the Lab Theater, as part of the Flint Hills International Children’s Festival. Tickets are $5.

Park Square Theatre

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

“The Diary of Anne Frank” is presented through May 9. Among eight Jews hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, Anne Frank emerges 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. Daytime matinees only. Tickets are $38-$58. “Behind the Eye” is presented through May 18. This is a gripping play about the remarkable life of Lee Miller, an acclaimed World War II photographer who covered the front lines, the London Blitz and the horrors of Dachau. Tickets are $38-$58. “The Red Box” is presented May 30-July 13. A lovely young woman is dead and the fortunes of a theatrical producer are at stake. Nero Wolfe, an eccentric detective genius who rarely leaves his comfortable brownstone in Manhattan, and his wise-cracking sidekick, Archie, are called in to solve the crime. Tickets are $38-$58.

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August 24. This exhibit features 20 dinosaur specimens from unusual locations in the Southern Hemisphere. “Dinosaurs Alive” is featured in the Omnitheatre. The film follows preeminent paleontologists as they uncover evidence that the descendants of dinosaurs still walk or fly among us. Museum tickets are $13 for adults and $10 for children and seniors. Omnitheatre tickets are $8 and $7 respectively. There is an additional charge of $8 for adults and $2 for children and seniors to view “Ultimate Dinosaurs.”

Xcel Center

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Stars on Ice – Olympic gold medalist Meryl Davis and Charlie White are among the skaters at this event, held at 4 p.m., Sunday, May 4. Tickets are $27-$147.

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St. Paul Voice - May 2014 - Page 11



C inco de Mayo Cinco de Mayo from page 1

the festival at or call 651-223-7403. For transit information, visit or call 612373-3333.

Special events Cinco de Mayo parade, 10 a.m., along Cesar Chavez Street, from Wabasha to Ada. The street will be filled with the color and music of floats, bands, costumed dancers and more. Lowrider Car Show, 12:30-6 p.m. On Cesar Chavez Street, from Ada Street toward Highway 52, festival-goers may check out the hottest cars, trucks, motorcycles and bikes from all over the region. Prizes for best vehicles will be awarded at 5:30 p.m.

Music and entertainment Local and national bands will perform on three stages. La Raza 1400 AM radio will sponsor the Viva Mexico! Stage, near La Guadalupana grocery store, featuring DJs,

contests and giveaways. Nationally known bands including Lamento Show de Durango and Desatados will be featured. Festivalgoers may also enter dance contests for children and adults at this stage. At the Fiesta Stage near Cora’s Best Chicken Wings, listeners may enjoy the music of DJ La Peligrosa and West Side Tejano groups, including Los Conocidos and Tejano 2000. Mariachi bands and Aztec dancers will perform throughout the fiesta to give visitors another taste of Mexican culture. Beer and margaritas will be available at both the Viva Mexico! and Fiesta Stages, with soda and water for sale nearby. DJ Rudy and Taquache Mix will also play Mexican music at the Lowrider car show, located at Cesar Chavez Street near Ada Street. The Family Stage at Parque Castillo will offer a full afternoon of entertainment by and for youth, including folkloric dance and “mini mariachis.” For the full lineup of music and entertainment, visit

Your community news and information source

Food and beverages Many food vendors will be back with a variety of Mexican and Latin American favorites, including tacos, taquitos and the popular roasted corn. Festival goers may also enjoy several Greek offerings and, new this year, Asian snacks. Also new this year are more vegetarian, gluten free and vegan food options, said Dan Rodewald, event manager. The Minnesota Twins food truck will offer ballpark favorites and there will be popular fair food, including cheese curds and mini donuts. Beer, margaritas, soft drinks and other beverages will be available.

Jalapeno-eating contest This year’s jalapenoeating contest promises to be hotter than ever. Participants will compete for gift certificates to local restaurants and a cash prize. The “heats” will begin at approximately 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Viva Mexico! Stage. Those interested in par-

ticipating in the free contest are encouraged to pre-register at to ensure a spot, said Benjamin Theisen Escobar, one of the event coordinators. If space is available, it may be possible to sign up at the event. Restaurants, both in the

West Side neighborhood and from other parts of the city, are sponsoring the contest and have representatives participating in it this year, Escobar said. “It’s a great opportunity to have a little restaurant presence in the festival and at the same time have fun

with it,” he said. Festival-goers are encouraged to cheer on participants.

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C inco de Mayo ists, crafters, growers and vendors at the Community Village, a “placita” market located at Parque Castillo. Local handmade arts and crafts, jewelry, T-shirts, airbrush artwork, secondhand items, seedlings, produce and more will be offered. West Side vendors can reserve a 10-by-10 foot space for $35. For more information and a vendor application, visit

Lowrider car show A fleet of dazzling vehicles will sparkle on Cesar Chavez Street during the lowrider car show. Owners will show their cars, trucks and bikes on the street and compete for prizes in 13 categories — everything from well-detailed street rods/hot rods to lowriders to classics. Owners of vehicles equipped with hydraulics also may compete and, if inclined, demonstrate their vehicle’s amazing abilities during the show.

Family Zone Children and parents can enjoy face painting, story-

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telling and traditional crafts in this area. It also features activities by local organizations, including Art Start (Art Scrap), Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Neighborhood House with Silly Miss Tilly!, Riverview Library, Westside Summit Charter School, Young Artists Initiative and Girl Scouts. Visitors can also take in entertainment for and by youth, including a mariachi band and folk dancers at on a new, larger Family Stage at Parque Castillo. Large inflatable play structures will be featured in Parque Castillo for a charge. Silly Miss Tilly! will make balloon animals and the Riverview Library will offer prizes.

Sports Zone Sports fans young and old will enjoy the Sports Zone, featuring baseball, tennis, soccer and other activities and entertainment. Amateur and professional sports teams and organizations will be represented and lead activities, including the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota United FC Soccer Team,

Volunteers needed If you are interested in volunteering at the event, visit or contact Alicia at volunteer@spfhf. org or 651-223-7403. Volunteers receive a T-shirt.

Community Marshal program United States Tennis Association and more.

History Zone Back this year is the History Zone, where festivalgoers can learn why Cinco de Mayo is recognized, and the history of the West Side and its annual festival. A walk-through display is planned.

Menudo Run Participants in this year’s 5K Menudo Run will enjoy a new scenic route along Harriet Island and the Mississippi River. The timed run is sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the Latino Peace Officers

Association and starts at 8 a.m. at Joseph’s Grill at Water and Wabasha streets. Register online at or on race day 6:45-7:45 a.m. at Joseph’s Grill. Cost is $30 until April 29 and $35 after that date. Near the finish line at the Wabasha Deli, participants will receive refreshments, a T-shirt, and a coupon for a free full service car wash from the Downtowner, and one for a Bloody Mary or beer. Awards will be given to the top place-winners. Proceeds go toward college scholarships for law enforcement students.

Community Marshals help St. Paul Police make the festival safer by acting as extra eyes on the street. The marshals are not asked to confront or approach people but rather to give police a heads-up about suspicious individuals or problematic groups. To sign up, contact Ruby Diaz at Ruby.Diaz@ or 651-744­-5784.

Cinco de Mayo event button The winner of Cinco de Mayo Festival’s 2014 commemorative button drawing will have a reason to continue celebrating after the event ends: $300 cash. To enter, purchase a button, sponsored by Xfinity Comcast, and return the card

that comes with it by May 13. Buttons are available at Boca Chica Restaurant, El Burrito Mercado and Wabasha Deli. According to Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation President and CEO Rosanne Bump, “Even if you buy a button at the event you still have a chance to win.” Cinco de Mayo sponsors include: Comcast, UCare, McDonalds, US Bank, Wells Fargo, State Farm, Metropolitan State University, Boca Chica Restaurant, El Burrito Mercado, La Raza 1400 AM, Escobar Agency, Xcel Energy and Neighborhood House.

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C inco de Mayo

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Festival features top acts from both near and far Susan Klemond Contributor


usic lovers will have the chance to hear sounds with a local, national and international flavor this year, depending on which stage they visit. “We have a little bit of everything this year,” said Sergio Maldonado of TexMex Entertainment, who is helping coordinate the en-

tertainment. “There will be local to national at different stages. It’s not just one particular music.” Recognized bands from around the country will play a variety of Mexican sounds on the Viva Mexico! Stage, while local Tejano bands will appear on the Fiesta Stage, and Twin Cities youth groups on the Family Stage. New this year, La Raza

1400 AM radio will broadcast live from the Viva Mexico! Stage, located near La Guadalupana grocery. DJs will spin their music and host contests and giveaways between musical performances and the jalapenoeating contests. Two nationally known bands will play on the Viva Mexico! Stage. Lamento Show de Durango and Desatados will each offer their

own mix of Nortenos, Durangue, corridos and banda, Maldonado said. On the Fiesta Stage, located near Cora’s Best Chicken Wings, a popular DJ and several local bands will offer Tejano sounds all afternoon. Two more DJs will provide music during the Lowrider Car Show. An exciting day of entertainment at the Family Stage at Parque Castillo will feature folkloric dancers and “mini mariachis.” Mariachi bands and Aztec dancers will perform throughout the festival. Beer and margaritas will be available at both the Viva Mexico! and Fiesta stages while other beverages will be on sale nearby. Viva Mexico! Main Stage Near Guadalupana grocery

Noon-1 p.m.: DJ contest 1 p.m.: Jalapeno-eating contest

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C inco de Mayo New foods and old favorites featured during the fiesta

Your community news and information source

Susan Klemond Contributor


unger doesn’t stand a chance at the Cinco de Mayo festival. A wide selection of food from spicy to savory to sweet will be available for snacks or a full meal, along with just the right beverage. Fiesta-goers will find many Mexican favorites, along with ballpark and fair food, international specialties and even more vegetarian and gluten-free options. “It’s really a diverse set of food vendors so people can find something they can enjoy that’s fairly inexpensive,” said Dan Rodewald, event manager for the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, which is managing the festival. In keeping with the festival’s Mexican heritage, a wide variety of tacos, taquitos, churros, nachos and other tasty Mexican street food will be offered as well as the ever-popular roasted corn on the cob. Along with Mexican and Latin American special-


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ties, festival-goers may also purchase Greek gyros and pitas. New this year is an Asian food vendor offering egg rolls, cream cheese wontons, chicken wings and iced coffee. Making its first appearance at the fiesta is the Minnesota Twins food truck, which will offer stadium favorites such as brats, hot dogs and nachos. Several

other food trucks also will be onsite. Other vendors will offer vegetarian and gluten-free options this year, including veggie fajitas. “There’s a more vegetarian friendly menu that’s a little more prevalent this year,” said Rodewald. Those craving fair food will find burgers, corn dogs, brats, Italian sausage and

more. Other favorites include cheese curds, mini donuts, Italian ice, handsqueezed lemonade, shaved ice, cotton candy and caramel apples. Quench your thirst with margaritas, beer and other beverages available in the entertainment areas. Soft drinks and water can be found throughout the festival site.

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St. Paul Voice - May 2014 - Page 15

C inco de Mayo

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Changes made to improve the festival experience Susan Klemond Contributor


hile visitors to the West Side’s Cinco de Mayo festival might not notice dramatic changes this year, organizers have been working on behind-thescenes infrastructure changes to improve the fiesta. Stages - This year the Viva Mexico! Stage, for-

merly on State Street, will be located across the street next to the Guadalupana grocery store. “We’re moving that stage to make it a little more tucked into the event,” said Rosanne Bump, president/ CEO of the St. Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation, which is managing the festival. “We kind of made that space a little cozier and fun to be in.”


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Festival organizers are also upgrading the Family Stage at Parque Castillo to make it easier for fiestagoers to see community groups performing there. The new stage will be bigger and higher. “I think that’s the place where people can linger and enjoy the festival and have some entertainment to watch,” said Bump. Information points Festival goers can find out where and when events are scheduled by checking one

of the three-panel vinyl banners placed prominently throughout the festival. The information points will identify the different zones of the fiesta and the day’s activities. Facebook contests “Like” Cinco de Mayo West Side Saint Paul on Facebook and qualify for cash prize drawings. Those who were fans on the page before March 27 are eligible to win $50, and anyone who “likes” the page by the end of the May 3 event

could win $50. If the page receives 5,000 likes by the end of the fiesta, organizers will hold a drawing for an additional $100. History Zone - The History Zone will feature a walk-through display with photos and information on the history of Cinco de Mayo, and the history of the West Side’s Cinco de Mayo Festival. The Zone will “give festival-goers a little feel for what it is we’re celebrating and what the history of the festival has

been throughout the West Side area,” said Bump. More involvement More local residents and organizations helped plan the festival this year, representing an increase in community support and promotion. “We have a lot of enthusiasm on the committee,” said Bump. “Our committee has grown by leaps and bounds. There’s just so much going on in the back end that’s exciting.”

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B ack in Time

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May 1934: cool new items for the home and some weird weather Don Morgan Contributor


n May 1934, St. Paulites had a lot of things to keep their mind off the Great Depression, including some cool new items for their homes and films designed to lift their spirits. They also followed a bitter labor dispute and suffered through some very strange weather. In those days Hollywood was good at cranking out motion pictures that could only be described as happy films. That month people headed downtown to view the light-hearted “Twenty Million Sweethearts” with Dick Powell and Ginger Rogers, “Thirty Day Princess” with Cary Grant and Sylvia Sidney, and “Men in White” with Clark Gable and Myrna Loy. They could also see the pre-censorshipcode classic “Tarzan and His Mate,” which confirmed that both Tarzan and Jane looked great in only the briefest of loincloths. Then there was the weather. An early heat wave hit Minnesota that May. The high temperature on May 1 was 90 degrees, and by the

end of the month it would hit 95. If that wasn’t bad enough, a severe drought hit the entire Midwest. Oklahoma is remembered as the home of the dust bowl but that year a big dust storm blew into Minnesota from the Dakotas in mid-May. Whipped by winds over 30 mph, the storm blanketed the city with a layer of fine grit and produced some dirt drifts over a foot deep. Street lights remained on all day and many autos seized up from the blowing dust. It took several weeks to clean up the mess. Due to high unemployment, labor relations had become tense in many areas. Most unions were conservative but a new breed of labor organizers brought some very left-wing philosophies to the bargaining table. That May, a group associated with the Trotskyist Communist League of America began a strike against trucking companies operating in the Twin Cities, in defiance of the national Teamsters’ Union. Their main focus was the Minneapolis market area (now known as the Warehouse District), but

companies in St. Paul were targeted as well. This was a concern as the strike was called for St. Paul Day in May, a monthly event that brought business exhibitors to the city. Violence was a possibility, but police were ready. Just a week earlier, city police received four Thompson submachine guns and eight new bulletproof vests. The money for both was raised through a promotion organized by the Pioneer Press. St. Paul got off easy, as strikers concentrated their efforts on Minneapolis. St. Paul residents spent the next week reading of extreme violence in Minneapolis, of deaths among both police and strikers, and of a governor who couldn’t decide if he should call up the State Militia. What had been a strike against trucking companies evolved into a general city-wide strike. A shaky truce and tentative agreement was reached a week later and all hoped the issue was settled. St. Paul Day went on as scheduled and was a success. Despite the Depression, commerce man-

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aged to trudge along. That month a new Hudson/Terraplane dealership opened downtown at Fifth and Exchange. With the Hudson V-8 and the Terraplane straight six, the company managed to prosper despite low auto sales nationwide. Also, the Golden Rule was selling gas water heaters with a new device called a time-o-stat, which allowed the heater to be controlled from upstairs. Before modern thermostats, homeowners had to manually light and extinguish their water heater each time they wanted a bath or to wash clothes or dishes. Those who forgot to turn it off either backed up the city water pipes or blew up their house. The time-o-stat, which turned off automatically, was an important safety feature for homeowners. Even though its price was steep – $16, including installation — sales were brisk. The big commercial event that month was the electric refrigerator show at Cardozo’s, an 8-story furniture store at Seventh (now Sev-

enth Place) and Minnesota streets. Cardozo’s had undertaken a major push to get locals away from oldfashioned ice boxes and into the modern world of home refrigeration. The show crowded the entire first floor of the building with 49 models from five different manufacturers. It also included style shows and cooking classes, all for no admission charge. Promoters touted savings on ice and less spoiled food to attendees, who sampled milk refrigerated for over a week, Jell-O and leftovers. Exhibits also showed the advantages the appliance offered for ice cream and homemade ice cubes. In those days people used block ice in their home ice boxes. The ice was usually cut from a nearby lake and wasn’t something one wanted to put in their drink. Prices ranged from the top-of-the-line GE models, which featured five cubic feet of space for $169 (available for only $5 down) to the Crosley Tri-Shelvador (“It does everything but

hand it to you”), which went for $99.50. Also on display were the nowforgotten makes of Apex, Grunow and Leonard. Today, it’s hard to imagine that people once needed to be urged to try ice cubes, or that early refrigerators were so small. The next time you find your eighteen-cubicfoot model crowded, think back to those folks to whom three cubic feet seemed generous. The show ran for two weeks and drew a lot of people downtown. The heat wave likely helped. The extreme hot weather continued all month, resulting in six deaths statewide. The daytime high for the Memorial Day parade was 95 degrees. Those hoping for labor peace that month were disappointed. Violence continued in Minneapolis for the entire summer. By July the governor finally declared martial law and mobilized the National Guard, and a shaky settlement was reached in August.

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St. Paul Voice - May 2014 - Page 17

R iver Connections

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REFLECTIONS From the Riverfront

Equal, but rarely ever fair Tim Spitzack Editor


he arrival of the vernal equinox is a time of celebration, albeit one that is often mixed with trepidation. The Latin-derived moniker for the first day of spring suggests equal day and night because on March 20 we experience approximately the same amount of daylight and darkness. However, even though that day might be equal, it’s rarely ever fair, as evidenced by my trip to Fort Snelling State Park the weekend following the turning of the season. A program entitled “Desperately Seeking Spring” caught my attention so I headed to the park and joined a handful of others

who were longing for the end of winter. We viewed a slide show and saw photographs of colorful flora and fauna that emerge early in the year, and of the animals that are waking from their long winter nap — raccoons, gophers, ground hogs, garter snakes. Next, we went for a hike to see if we could locate any signs of them. That exercise was like a glove-slap to our windstung cheeks. We were each dressed in winter attire as we huddled outside the visitor center waiting for all participants to gather. We walked a short distance and stopped at a maple tree that had been tapped a week earlier, a plastic hose extended downward from the spike to a covered white bucket.

The park ranger explained that sap begins to run as the days warm — a sure sign of spring — and then lifted the lid to show us what had dripped out that week. It was frozen. The ranger tapped the ice crust but was unable to break it so she punched it, to no avail. It was frozen solid. She snapped the lid back on the bucket and we moved on. We shuffled along the icy trail and peered into the bleak, brown forest but saw no signs of spring. Finally, we came to the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers and stood on the point and watched the Great River flow by. There was no ice at the river’s edge and no ice floes on the current, simply free-flowing

water. It was a good sign. In the days following that outing, I noticed other signs of spring, even though the landscape had yet to comply. More birds had returned to our feeder, including robins, those traditional harbingers of spring. Geese and other waterfowl had also returned en masse. I marveled at their flight patterns this time of year compared to their southbound journey in the fall. Many I’ve seen in recent weeks were flying very low, so low in fact that I could hear the rhythmic fluttering of their wings. They were also traveling in long lines rather than the tight echelons of autumn. Early spring in the river valley is the most covetous time of the year. In March, we long for nourishing warmth from the sun. Those who are able to do so take trips to southern locales to find it. Those left in the snowdrifts silently envy them and try to smile when they return with tanned faces and tell of their adventures. Spring has arrived but if feels suspiciously like winter.

West St. Paul Days Carnival

In April, things start to improve. The mercury tickles 40, 50, even 60 or higher. Snow melts and forms sparkling rivulets that stream down streets and sidewalks, racing to the river. The sight of moving water is invigorating, its bubbling sound intoxicating. We experience warm days filled with bright sunshine and cool breezes, but also dark days with ominous clouds that produce pelting rain, growling thunder and streaks of lightning. We welcome the storms because they scrub the land and make it fresh again. With each rainfall we keep an eye on the river, which captures the melting of winter in 32 states and two Canadian provinces. We wonder just how far it will rise. We also examine our lawns and are astonished to see green grass emerge from beneath dirty, melting snow. We return to our gardens and feel the weight of the rich, black soil as it clings in heavy clumps to the soles of our shoes. Each day of April is like an eraser that blots out the memory of winter, allowing us to forget how harsh those

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days really were. And then comes May Day. It’s a term that expresses two distinctly different emotions. For those in distress, it’s a cry for help. For those who have battled through a long, frigid winter, it’s a victory shout. We pump our fists in the air and exclaim “May Day!” On that day we look Old Man Winter in the eye and notice that he looks frail and emaciated, and we wonder why we feared him. We poke him in the chest and say, “I’m stronger than you. I beat you again.” When we wish for spring, we are really wishing for the glorious days of May when we are standing on the threshold of the doorway to summer. We are wishing for the days when our lawns are lush, trees have sprouted their leaves, colorful flowers have burst forth from the earth and the mighty river looks clean and blue and sparkles in the sun, as if it’s winking at us to acknowledge our victory. We take notice of such things and stop often to smell the flowers, because we can. We finally can.


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Bud Trost from page 5

and the temperature began to drop like a brick. Within hours it would be below zero. “Boy did it come,” said Trost of the snow. “Dad was sick, so I had to deliver (the milk) alone.” He turned around at Orme Avenue and headed for home in what had become whiteout conditions. This was the now infamous and tragic Armistice Day blizzard of 1940, which caught hundreds of people off guard and resulted in many freezing to death.

A man in uniform

place, nautical fixtures, antiques and historic art. Nightly rental rates range from $160 to $250. According to Miller, the suites are occupied 85 percent of the time during the summer and 30 percent in the off season. Miller plans to move to Florida this fall and buy a motel so she can continue her career in the hospitality industry. She will be leaving Minnesota with great memories and an award in hand. On April 16, she

was named Member of the Year by Visit Saint Paul, the city’s convention and visitor bureau. “Liz has been such an asset,” said Adam Johnson, vice president of media relations for Visit Saint Paul. “We can only hope that whoever buys the Covington will have the same passion for St. Paul as Liz.” For more information on the Covington, contact Miller at 651-292-1411 or towboat@covingtoninn. com.

the Japanese surrendered. When he finally made his way back home in 1946 the cows were waiting for him, but he had other plans. Rather than return to the farm, he joined the West St. Paul Police Department. “They were looking for a fella my size and age,” said Trost. His first day of work was from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Christmas Eve, 1946. When he started, the department consisted of five officers who shared one car — not quite the department of today. Headquarters were located in the basement of the large brick government center on South Robert Street until the current government center on Humboldt Avenue was built in 1962.

for six years. He had met Dorothy Heuer of Eagan and the two were married at Trinity Lone Oak Church in Eagan, where he is still a member. They went on to have three sons: Greg, Jeffrey and Tim. He built a house for his growing family at 1947 S. Robert St., where Bakers Square now stands, and lived there until 1975 when it was sold and they moved to Hastings. Dorothy passed away 16 years ago. He may have moved from the city but he still spends a lot of time in West St. Paul, and he’s never too far from friends on Robert Street or from VFW Post 4462, where he serves as commander.

bars at the turnaround stop. Many of the workers would stop in for a beer on their way home.” One of the highlights of his career was providing security for First Lady Rosalyn Carter when she made an appearance at Brady High School, currently the site of St. Croix Lutheran High School. Another highlight was serving as Chief of Police from 1981 to 1985. By the time he retired in 1985, the department looked nothing like the one he had joined. It now had 22 officers, four dispatchers, two secretaries, and two community service officers. Trost served on the force for 38 years. “Compared to my era, law enforcement is like day and night,” he said. “The good Lord has been protecting me all this time.”

Having experienced nearly three-quarters of West St. Paul’s history, Trost can be counted on to answer most questions about the city. He walks with a cane now but seems to use it as much to accentuate a point in conversation as for walking.

He remains active through work with VFW Post 4462 in West St. Paul, helping his son Jeff on his farm near Kenyon, Minn., and enjoying life with his companion Margaret Peck.

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Trost had a lot to say about his career with the police department. He had learned quickly with a lot of on-the-job training. One of his first calls was to a domestic dispute, known among law enforcement as one of the most dangerous I-94 situations. The husband was near death with a severe knife wound when Trost arrived. I-35E “It was a quick education,” he said. “I tried to save him.” Most calls were less dramatic crimes, such as burglaries. “I met a lot of people… always had something different to deal with,” said Trost. “West St. Paul was called a bedroom community with a good mixture of people, with many working in nearby communities and then coming home at night to West St. Paul. We were the end of the streetcar line and there were lots of


As for the farm, his parents saw the writing on the wall after the war. Change was happening in dairy farming, and commercial development was encroaching toward their farm in earnest after the war.  Gas stations soon lined Robert Street, which became known as gasoline alley. Schanno Lumber moved in on Mendota Road, and a Southview housing addition was being platted across Robert Street from their farm. Then in 1949 the Minnesota Legislature passed a law mandating that dairy farmers could no longer sell raw milk. It had to be pasteurized, which was too costly for the Trosts. They sold the farm in 1952 to developers who converted it to residential and commercial property. By this time Trost had been in law enforcement

Fighting crime

S T. P E T E R

Trost remembers his teen years as a time when President Franklin Roosevelt was preparing the nation for war. “We were already building airplanes and ships” he said. “It was the Depression. Many people thought a war would end the Depression. I was delivering milk when one of my customers said she had heard that Pearl Harbor had been bombed. It didn’t really sink in. I was only seventeen. I do remember that when I left for the service in 1944, they (Mom and Dad) bought a tractor and a milking machine to replace me.” Yet another slice of history: when technology came to the farm. Joining the service meant leaving the farm and West St. Paul for the first time. “I always had to be there and never got a chance to leave,” said Trost, who eventually became part of the first group of Marines into Tokyo Bay, Japan, after

the Covinington Inn and No Wake Café. She worked for them as a waitress and innkeeper prior to assuming ownership. Since 2004, she has been the sole owner and operator, handling everything from cooking and housekeeping to maintenance and marketing. She owns the vessel but rents dock space from the city of St. Paul on a 10-year lease. The Covington has four unique private staterooms, each with a comfortable bed, a private bath, fire-


iz Miller has spent the last decade living on the Mississippi River doing something she loves — working as innkeeper of the Covington Inn Bed & Breakfast moored at Harriet Island. But now she has decided it’s time to set sail for new waters. She will be putting her floating bed and breakfast on the market in mid-May. Her asking price is $649,000.

along a 1,000-mile stretch of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Eventually, it was decommissioned and put into dry-dock. In 1976, the River Valley Preservation Company discovered it in Louisiana and hauled it upstream to St. Paul, where the group gutted its interior and renovated it. It opened in 1995 as one of the nation’s first floating bed and breakfast venues. Miller purchased the boat from Tom Welna and Ann Holt, who operated it as



“I have been doing this for almost 12 years and have had a great run but am ready to move on,” said Miller. “I have been so blessed to live on the river and to be my own boss for so long, but it’s time to pass the torch on so someone else can be as happy as I’ve been here.”  The Covington has a long and storied history. It was built as a state-of-the-art towboat that began operation in 1946 and was used for 30 years to push barges


Tim Spitzack Editor







St. Paul Voice - May 2014 - Page 19

N ews Briefs Student notes Emily Doyle, Sarah Joswiak, Blake Smith and Lindsey Kiley of Mendota Heights and Stephanie Greengo of West St. Paul were named to the dean’s list at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Athena awards

Kate McKay of Mendota Heights, a senior at Henry Sibley High School, received a St. Paul Area Athena Award for athletic excellence. She is a 4-year letter winner in basketball, 3-year letter winner in tennis and softball, 2-year letter winner in soccer and 1-year letter winner in track and field. She was also a 3-year academic letter win-

Your community news and information source ner, is on the National Honor Society and has been active with Link Crew and Business Professionals of America. McKay plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater this fall to pursue a degree in chemistry and play on the school’s basketball team.

Sweetsel Firman Ravelo, a senior at Humboldt High School, also received an Athena award. She is a 5-year letter winner in tennis and a 4-year letter winner in badminton. She also received a letter in choir and was active with the Multicultural Excellence Program, Multicultural Club, Upward Bound, National Honor Society and Friendship Club. She plans to attend Gustavus Adolphus

College in the fall to study pre-med.

WSP joins statewide vocal competition The Optimist Club of West St. Paul will host a vocal competition, West St. Paul Sings, at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 17 at the St. Croix Lutheran Auditorium, 1200 Oakdale Ave., West St. Paul. The event is part of the statewide vocal competition, Minnesota Sings, which seeks participation from 60 cities. Each community is asked to host a contest and select one individual to participate at a competition in St. Paul this September. More than $4,500 in prizes will be awarded at that competition, including $500 donated to a charity in the community of the contest winner. Optimist Kelly Casey will produce the West St. Paul event, which seeks vocalists ages 15-25 to participate by singing to a background track for accompaniment. There is no cost to participate, but contestants must register by calling the Opti-


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Page 20 - St. Paul Voice - May 2014

STA team members are seniors (left-right) Ian Kies, Walker Lee, Chris Huberty and Ian Nichols.

STA wins Economics Challenge State Championship St. Thomas Academy (STA) won the state championship in the advanced placement division of the statewide Economics Challenge on April 7. St. Paul Central High School took second place in the competition, which included more than 60 teams. The STA team of Chris Huberty, Ian Kies, Walker Lee, and Ian mist Club at 612-202-0802. Contestants are required to provide a CD backing track for their audition, and must work, live or attend school in West St. Paul. “This is not a karaoke contest, but a great showcase of some of our state’s talented singers,” said Casey. “There are so many show choirs, church choirs, young bands and music programs in this state, we’d like to offer the opportunity to amateur singers to have a very professionally produced experience.” For more information, visit

WSP shred event The city of West St. Paul is hosting its annual document shredding event 9 a.m.-noon, Sat., May 3, at the Municipal Center parking lot, 1616 Humboldt Ave. West St. Paul residents may bring confidential material to be shredded and recycled, including credit card offers, receipts, check stubs, old bills, bank and loan information, medical records, tax records, investment records, and anything with a social security number on it. All metal tabs, binders and clips must be removed. For more information, call the city of West St. Paul at 651-552-4144.

West Side plant exchange The 10th annual West Side Plant Exchange will take place 1-3 p.m., Sat-

Nichols is coached by STA teacher Dean Simmons. Lee also won 2nd place in the same division for individual high scores. Economics Challenge is held by the Minnesota Council on Economic Education and is sponsored by The Mosaic Company and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

urday, May 17 at the Stryker Garden, located at the corner of Stryker and Elizabeth. This event is an opportunity for people to share extra perennials, seeds, vegetable and flower starts, house plants, garden tools, yard art and other gardening items with their neighbors. All are welcome, regardless if they have items to share. The event will also feature planting demonstrations and information on butterflies and bees, Stryker Garden plots, and Growing West Side projects. Ramsey County Garden educators will be on site to answer gardening questions. The event is presented by the Riverview Garden Club, the Stryker Garden and Growing West Side. For more details, call 651-2917451 or email

Free GED prep classes

Plant sale

Members of West St. Paul VFW Post 4462 will be selling Buddy Poppies at area businesses May 1517 to support veterans who are disabled or in need. The program was created in 1922 to provide financial assistance to veterans who assemble the Buddy Poppies in VA hospitals. More than 14 million poppies will be distributed nationwide this year. The program also supports rehabilitation programs for veterans and the VFW National Home for Orphans and Widows of Veterans.

Ramsey County  Master Gardeners are hosting a plant sale 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, May 17 at The “Barn” at 2020 White Bear Ave. The sale features hundreds of plants – many grown by Master Gardeners – including perennials for sun and shade, ground covers, annuals for color and texture, vegetable starts, herbs, bulbs, houseplants and more. A diagnostic clinic will be held 11 a.m.-1 p.m. to diagnose plant and gardening problems. The event is free. For more details, visit master-gardener.

South Suburban Adult Basic Education offers free classes to help adults age 16 and older learn English and prepare for the GED test. Classes are offered at various times and locations. Free childcare is available for some classes. For more details, call 651-457-9441.

Flag disposal

American Legion Challenger Post 521 has a collection box in the vestibule at the West St. Paul Municipal Center, 1616 Humboldt Ave., for American flags that are torn, frayed or discolored. For more information on flag disposal or on the Challenger Post, call John Ertel at 651-4575597.

Poppy Days

N ews Briefs

Rene Gavic

Gavic named director of Visitation’s Upper School Rene Gavic, director of student life at Visitation School in Mendota Heights, has been named director of Visitation’s Upper School. She will begin her new role on July 1. Gavic came to Visitation in 1987 as coach of the cross country and track and field teams. In 1990 she joined the faculty as a mathematics teacher, and in 2002 was named Dean of Students for Visitation’s Upper School, which enrolls girls in grades 9-12. That position was later expanded to become Director of Student Life. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in mathematics education and a master’s in educational leadership from the University of Dayton, Ohio. In 2012, the Minnesota Coalition of Women in Athletic

Your community news and information source Leadership gave Gavic a Breaking Barriers award for her efforts in making sports accessible to girls of all races, ages and ability levels. “I am keenly aware that it is our responsibility to prepare our students to be successful in a world where the jobs they will have may not have even been created yet,” Gavic said. “I want to do my part in preserving and enhancing the educational climate of our school so that we continue to graduate strong, confident, compassionate and independent women.” Gavic’s daughter Katie graduated from Visitation in 2012, and her son Andrew attended the school through 6th grade. Visitation offers a co-ed K-6 curriculum and an all-girls program for grades 7-12 within a Catholic environment, along with Montessori preschool and childcare. For more information, visit

Afternoon Prom at Crown of Life Area seniors are invited to an afternoon of fun and entertainment on May 8, as Crown of Life Lutheran Church presents an Afternoon Prom as the theme for its quarterly senior luncheon. Crown of Life Elementary School crooners will be on hand to serenade their guests with music from the ’40s, ’50s

and ’60s. Corsages for the ladies and boutonnieres for the gentlemen will await their arrival. All guests will walk down the red carpet, and before the afternoon is over a prom king and queen will be crowned. There is no cost. Lunch is provided, as well as transportation, if needed. For more information and to RSVP, call the church office at 651-4513832. Last minute arrivals are welcome. The church is located at 115 Crusader Ave. W., West St. Paul.

Cinco Crawl kicks off May 2 Working together as Grande St. Paul, LLC, El Burrito Mercado, Boca Chica Restaurant & Cantina and Wabasha Deli have joined forces to create events to promote the West Side community. The first event is the Cinco Crawl, held 6 p.m.-midnight, Friday, May 2. The event is for ages 21 and older and includes local Latino DJs, bands, Mexican dancers,

drink specials, food, and a shuttle bus, complete with mariachis. Participants must check in by 6 p.m. at El Burrito Mercado, 175 Cesar Chavez St., or Boca Chica Restaurant & Cantina, 11 Cesar Chavez St. Participating bars include El Burrito Mercado Cafe & Bar, Boca Chica Restaurant & Cantina, Joseph’s Bar & Grill, El Alamo, Las Sirenas, Senor Wongs, Amsterdam Bar & Hall and Faces in Mears Park. Tickets are $16-$25. For more information, visit

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. Drop-off is free for residents of Ramsey and Dakota counties with a photo I.D. For hours of operation and more information, call 651-633-EASY (3279) or visit

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New Catholic congregation forms in WSP On March 2, more than 50 people attended the inaugural service of The Church of The Holy Family. The fledgling congregation,

which is associated with the Old Catholic Church, a branch of Catholicism, meets at 4 p.m. each Sunday at Faith United Methodist Church, 1530 Oakdale Ave., West St. Paul. It is one of five Old Catholic Church congregations in the Twin Cities. “We are a Catholic, open and inclusive Sacramental church where everyone is welcomed to share in the Word from Scripture and the Sacraments,” said the Reverend Joe Carranza, who co-pastors the congregation with Monsignor Anthony J. Dinzeo. For more details, call 651-291-5441.


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St. Paul Voice - May 2014 - Page 21

L etters to the Editor

Your community news and information source

Responding to West Side schools letter I want to thank Leslie Martinez for the passion and commitment for the West Side and Humboldt High School displayed in the March letter to the editor. But I’d like to clear up some inaccuracies regarding the renovation plan for moving Open World Learning into the Humboldt Middle School building. Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) has four schools that

serve grades 6-12: Open World Learning (OWL), Creative Arts, Washington Technology and Humboldt Secondary. I would argue that our 6-12 schools are a good model for student achievement. Specifically, Humboldt held steady in graduation rates from 2012 to 2013 and showed growth for Asian and Hispanic students, English Language Learner (ELL) students, and students who receive

free or reduced price lunch. Asian, Hispanic, AfricanAmerican and ELL students at Humboldt all had better graduation rates than the state average. Humboldt still has work to do, but I know we’re on the right track. One frequent misconception — that Martinez is hardly alone in making — is that construction funding comes at the expense of technology upgrades,

additional teachers or classroom resources. In fact, $4 million has been allocated for the OWL renovation: $3,020,000 in capital improvements (capital construction bond funding) and $980,000 in flooring replacement (alternative deferred maintenance bond funding). These funding sources can only be used for construction and will not take away from precious classroom resources.

Additionally, Humboldt will benefit from these investments. Over the summer, Humboldt will receive new flooring, upgrades to its swimming pool, and new furniture. Both schools will also receive new marquee signs so visitors can clearly see the schools’ main entrances. SPPS is proud and happy to invest in St. Paul’s West Side, with the recent

renovation of the new Riverview Elementary and by moving Open World Learning to the Humboldt Middle building. We look forward to strengthening opportunities, programs and partnerships for Humboldt, the West Side and all Saint Paul Public Schools. Steve Unowsky Assistant Superintendent Saint Paul Public Schools

Opposing the ISD 197 School Board levy and bond Heads-up ISD 197 voters, the ISD 197 School Board is at it again. With help from their pals, the union supported and dominated Minnesota Legislature, they’ve had the rules on levy referendums and bond issues relaxed (read weakened) so they can once again hold special elections on other than general elec-

tion November dates. On May 6 there will be a special election so they may put their hands even deeper into your pockets. Most residents in the district have now received their real estate tax statements payable this year. Check out the “Voter Approved Levies” on your bill — mine totals 24.5 percent of the total.

When stacked on top of other school levies, the total jumps to a whopping 37.5 percent. Now they want you and I to approve the renewal of an expiring $490,000, 10-year technology levy for another 10 years and INCREASE it by another $1.2 million. Never mind that we were told initially that the origi-

nal levy would keep us up to snuff. But wait, there’s more. They also want us to approve an $11.2 million building bond to add a new early learning center and upgrade school security. Really! This 7-member board approved this nonsense unanimously. Not one of

them even considered vetoing more needless spending. Rather than initiate a topto-bottom critical review of all district spending (by a blue ribbon panel of outside CEOs and CFOs, as has been suggested) to identify areas of waste and duplication, their answer is to increase all of our taxes. Joe Soucheray in his Pioneer

Press column (2/23/14) was spot on: “Schools Never Have Enough of Our Money.” It is critical for all voters to turn out on May 6 and send a loud and clear message. John A. Fisher Mendota Heights

to hold their value better in down markets and appreciate more in good times. A 1 percent, 2 percent, or even 3 percent difference in a home’s value can be thousands of dollars. I educate people all the time, “You need to look at supporting and maintaining a good school district much like you would the maintenance of the roof or siding

on your house.” If not, both will significantly affect the value of your home. Whenever a school levy comes up for a vote I am asked, “What do you think of the levy for school improvements?” My answer is, “It seems like a pretty small investment to protect the value of my home.” Toby Schifsky Mendota Heights

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lar area. Ask any real estate agent you know and they will confirm that having strong schools and an overall strong district can affect home prices by as much as 10 pecent over a neighboring district. Don’t have kids of school age? Buying a home in a good school district is still smart. When the schools are desirable, homes tend

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Page 22 - St. Paul Voice - May 2014

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E ducation ISD 197 Levy from page 1

technology will allow students to access up-to-theminute research, interactive maps, videos, audio files and real-time photos. If the technology levy fails, the district foresees delays in computer and other tech device upgrades and maintenance. The district’s strategic goals are contingent on implementation of a consistent digital curriculum across all grades levels and schools. If the technology levy passes, the purchase and implementation of the devices at the high school and middle schools is planned for the 2015-16 school year. Professional development of teachers and staff would begin in the 2014-15 school year.

Question 2 Question 2 combines construction of a new $7.2 million Early Learning Center and the addition of $3.2 million in security upgrades to district schools, which brings the total amount of the building/security bond to $11.2 million. Why are these two seemingly distinctly different issues being combined under one question? The district’s facilities review identified several

Your community news and information source

Tax impact The tax impact on owners of a home valued at $200,000 are: Question 1: Renew and increase technology levy to $1.7 million - $43/year or $3.58/mo. Question 2: $11.2 million building bond for early learning and security - $14/year or $1.17/month Combined total if both pass: $57/year or $4.75/mo. growing concerns in schools across the district. Updated security was one concern but so was rising enrollment and a shortage of classroom space. Part of that shortage is being created because Early Childhood learning programs are currently held in classroom space in Moreland Arts & Health Sciences Magnet School, Friendly Hills Middle School and Pilot Knob STEM Magnet School. In order to make room for a rising student population, those classrooms need to be freed up. The district contends that since security upgrades and early childhood instruction affect all schools, the two should be combined on one question.

Early Learning Center The new Early Learning Center would be next to Heritage Middle School and would combine birth to age 5 programs under one roof. This would free

up classroom space for the increasing enrollment in other schools. According to the District, enrollment has risen more than nine percent since the 2008-2009 school year, and enrollment in the elementary schools is currently at or slightly over capacity. Enrollment is projected to stay near or over capacity through 2022. The middle schools and high schools are expected to be at capacity by 2019. Heritage was chosen as the site of the new center because it is close to public transportation, the land is already owned by the district, and current and projected enrollment growth is concentrated in the northern part of the district. The district has a second Early Childhood Center that serves families in the southern portion of the district at Pilot Knob School. Current early childhood programs include  Early Childhood Family Edu-

cation (ECFE),  Early Childhood Special Education  (ECSE), Community Preschool, Early Childhood Kindergarten Screening, School Readiness, ECFE Building Bridges Family Literacy Program and more.

Security upgrades The district is requesting $3.2 million to make security upgrades, with the majority of funds used to construct secure entrances

at all schools. Each school’s front entrance would be remodeled or relocated to include a second set of doors that could be locked during the school day and re-direct visitors to a school’s main office. In addition, districtwide security improvements would include an expansion in the use of lockdown buttons to the middle schools, add the high school’s music wing to the school’s current lockdown system, increase the number of security

cameras at every school, upgrade door locks to allow staff to lock all elementary classroom doors from the inside, and improve public address systems. If the early learning/security bond passes, many of these security upgrades could be in place as early as this summer. Construction of secured entrances and the Early Learning Center would be planned for next year, opening fall 2015.


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 651-450-7391. 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 www.rotarywspmh. org. The Kiwanis Club of West St. Paul hosts a weekly meeting at noon, Tuesdays at Mattie’s Lanes, 365 N. Concord Exchange, South 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 last 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 651-437-4481. American Legion Post 521 also hosts monthly meetings at the Armory. Meeting times are 7 p.m., the fourth Tuesday of each month.

{ 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 - May 2014 - Page 23

N ews Briefs

Your community news and information source

{ THE FULLER FILES } Events calendar

$20 on Saturday, which is a fundraising performance. Books and Bars will hold a discussion on “Lexicon,” a novel by Max Barry, at 6:15 p.m., Tuesday, May 20 at Amsterdam Bar and Hall, located at Sixth and Wabasha. Local Asian-American writers May Lee-Yang, Saymoukda Vongsan, Mai Neng Moua and Kao Kalia Yang, will share new works at 2 p.m., Sunday, May 4 at the Central Library, 90 W. Fourth St. A Coffee Concert sponsored by the St. Paul Conservatory of Music will be held at noon, Wednesday, May 7 at Sundin Hall at Hamline University, featuring performances by Ivan Konev and Oleg Levin. The school’s spring student recital will be held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, May 3 and 5:30 p.m., Sunday, May 4. An Open House will be held at 4 p.m., Tuesday, May 13 at 26 E. Exchange St.

St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists will present a vocal concert at 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 6 at the Landmark Center, 75 W. Fifth St., and a jazz ensemble concert at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 7 at Lehr Theatre, 16 W. Fifth St. Black Dog Café, 308 Prince St., will present the Steve Kenny Quartet on Friday, May 2, Machinery Hill on Saturday, May 10, and Donald Washington on Friday, May 16. Zeitgeist quartet will perform “Hole in the Sky,” by Kathy McTabish May 16-18 at Studio Z, 275 E. Fourth St. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m., Sunday. Tickets are $10 on Friday and Sunday, and

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Minnesota Museum of American Art (MMAA) will hold a Curator Kids event at 5 p.m., Thursday, May 15 at its project space in the Pioneer Building at Fourth and Robert. The show will feature works of art by young people. St. Paul Public Schools will open its Honor Visual Arts exhibition at the MMAA project space on the same day.

River Bottom Aquatics opens River Bottom Aquatics is scheduled to open in May on the skyway level of the US Bank Center, near Patricia’s sewing and Red E printing. Manager Paul Kochsiek said the shop will sell fish, lizards four inches long or less, and pet food.

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Schmidt Artist Lofts, 876 W. Seventh St. About 25 units are still available. The Bottle House, the other part of the redevelopment of the 19th century brewery, is already filled to its 120-unit capacity. A committee reviews applications and oversees the admission process, which is limited to artists.

City Passport events City Passport senior center, located on the mezzanine level of the Alliance Bank Center, 55 E. Fifth St., is hosting the following events in May: Cinco de Mayo party, 2 p.m., Monday, May 5; Passport Book Club, 10 a.m., Monday, May 5 and 19; Dabble This craft group, 10 a.m., Tuesday, May 6; current events discussion, 11 a.m., May 7 and 16; Passport Readers’ Theatre, 12:30 p.m., May 9 and 23; Health Connection discussion of advanced care planning and future health care wishes, 11 a.m., Tuesday, May 13; Patriotic singa-long, 10:45 a.m., Friday, STATE FARM Stremski Agency



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previous weekday parades. The St. Patrick’s Association of St. Paul has yet to take a position on the plan.

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Minneapolis-based Dakota Jazz Club is planning to open a second location in the former Artists’ Quarter jazz club, located in the basement of the Hamm building in downtown St. Paul. The Dakota offers a selection of jazz, rock, R&B, and folk/pop, while the Artists’ Quarter concentrated solely on jazz. Kenny Horst, who operated the jazz club in St. Paul from 1995 to last December, has retained the rights to the Artists’ Quarter name.

The upper Mississippi River will be commemorated through a public art sculpture at the new Lowertown ball park. The sculpture, “Meander,” created by Futures North, a Twin Cities art team, features 28 lighted pillars that represent the 28 dams between Minneapolis and St. Louis. The decision was made by the Ballpark Committee of CapitolRiver Council/ District 17 and the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department.

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Metro Transit has allocated $3.25 million for the renovation of four bus stops in downtown St. Paul. Work on shelters at Fifth and Minnesota, Sixth and Cedar, and Fifth and Cedar will begin in the summer and be completed by the end of the year. A fourth bus stop to be located at the US Bank Center will be completed next year.


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N ews Briefs Public Kitchen and Bar to open Public Kitchen and Bar will be opening this summer on Sixth Street. It will be next to the Barrio bar and restaurant and face Mears Park. Owner Carol March plans to offer lunch, dinner and full bar service.

Depot attracts more groups Two downtown organizations have decided to host their main public event of the year at the newly remodeled Union Depot. The St. Paul Friends of the Library held the Minnesota Book Awards there this spring because it could hold more than 950 people. Its previous venue was limited to 800. The St. Paul Riverfront Corporation will hold its Great River Gathering at Union Depot at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, May 8. The event has traditionally been held at the RiverCentre. Speaking at the event are Gil Penalosa, executive director of 8-80 Cities, Carol Coletta of the Knight Foundation and St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

Movies at the Palace Theatre CapitolRiver Council/ District 17 voted to ask the city of St. Paul to consider adding a digital projector and movie screen to the Palace Theatre once it is renovated. Bill Hosko, a downtown art gallery owner and a District 17 board member, said the theater, located on Seventh Place, would be an ideal venue to show classic and independent films. The $12 million proposed project would restore the historic theater, built in 1919, to host about 100 music and

Your community news and information source theater events each year, staged in collaboration with Minneapolis-based Jam Productions. Gov. Mark Dayton included $6 million for the project in his bonding bill.

Historic Union Depot Earns LEED Gold certification Union Depot, owned by Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority, has earned LEED Gold certification for its restoration. The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program of the U.S. Green Building Council rates buildings, homes and neighborhoods according to environmental and sustainability practices. Key elements of Union Depot’s LEED certification included building reuse, building material salvaging, asbestos abatement, construction waste management, connection to district heating and cooling, lighting controls systems, natural lighting optimization, storm water control, water efficient landscaping, a bicycle station, electric vehicle charging stations, fuel-efficient vehicle parking, bike/pedestrian enhancements, public transportation access and waste management and recycling.

Downtown YMCA Gala The Downtown YMCA is hosting its annual gala 5:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday, May 1 at the Lowertown Event Center in the historic Park Square Court building at Sixth and Sibley. The event will feature a “Taste of Saint Paul” with food and desserts from area restaurants, including: Man-

cini’s, Black Sheep Pizza, Fabulous Fern’s, Key’s Cafe, Cossetta’s and Golden’s Deli. Entertainment will be provided by jazz singer Pippi Ardennia, pianist Christine Wellhausen, clarinetist Maureen Seibert and musical ventriloquist Kevin Doely. The gala will also include live and silent auctions featuring a week’s accommodation in Banff, British Columbia, pottery, fine art prints, wine baskets and more. The master of ceremonies is Stan Turner of KLBB radio, former Channel 5 KSTP news anchor. Tickets are $25. Proceeds support scholarships for YMCA youth programs and memberships. To purchase tickets, contact Tara Monack at 651-292-4141 or This year marks the 30th anniversary of the YMCA in Cray Plaza, formerly Galtier Plaza.

Amtrak to begin service May 7

On May 7, passenger rail service is scheduled to return to Union Depot in downtown St. Paul. It is welcome news for rail travelers who have waited through several delays in recent months for Amtrak to relocate from its current Midway site. Service will begin just days before National Train Day on Saturday, May 10. The Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority (RCRRA) and Amtrak will host a free event that day with activities at the depot. For a schedule of events, visit “With Amtrak, the range of transportation options at Union Depot expands opportunities for travel connections throughout the Upper Midwest and be-

yond,” said Rafael Ortega, Ramsey County commissioner and RCRRA chair, in a prepared statement. “Our beautifully restored building is achieving our vision as a multimodal transit facility and a unique gathering place for people.” Amtrak provides service to Chicago and Seattle on its Empire Builder route. It has been more than 42 years since the last passenger train left Union Depot in 1971. Union Depot, which reopened in 2012 after extensive renovation to return it to a transportation hub, offers other transportation services, including local bus service through Metro Transit and Minnesota Valley Transit Authority and interstate bus service through Jefferson Lines and the Megabus. The Green Line light rail train will begin service there on June 14.

Coffee Shack adds breakfast The Coffee Shack, which opened this winter on the ground level of the Victory Parking Ramp at 344 Wabasha Street, is now serving breakfast. Chef

Retail kiosks at Union Depot Union Depot now offers retail kiosks for local artists, crafters and others seeking retail space for short-term rental. For more details, contact or 651-202-2700. Carlotta Wartman has created a menu that provides quick service for people on the go, including breakfast sandwiches, bagels, muffins, French toast, pancakes and more. The shop’s lunch menu features Chicago hotdogs, Italian beef and sausage sandwiches, gyros, salads, hot dagos, French fries and other items available on daily specials. They bill themselves as a “Taste of Chicago” in downtown St. Paul.

Garden club hosts annual plant sale The Garden Club of Ramsey County will host its annual plant sale 8-11 a.m., Saturday, May 17 at Edgcumbe Recreation Center, 320 Griggs St. S., St. Paul. The sale features reasonably priced common and rare perennials from club members. For more information, visit www.ramseygardeners. org.

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C ommunity Columns

Your community news and information source

If you build it, they will come

Neighborhood House’s Joe York creates winter fun


f you happened to wander around the Wellstone Center this winter, you saw something new — an amazing ice rink created by our own Joe York. Joe has worked as the Neighborhood House maintenance and event coordinator for the last six years, and while doing routine plowing early in the winter he got an idea. He decided to plow out an ice rink in the field at the side of our building. Joe spent the next few weeks, on his own time, plowing, flooding, sweeping and smoothing a beautiful outdoor ice rink. Joe has fond memories of spending his winters skating and playing hockey outdoors in West St. Paul, and it was such wonderful outdoor experiences and memories that Joe wanted to create for the kids at Neighborhood House. As Joe continued to prepare the rink he set out to find equipment for the kids to use. He spent weeks soliciting donations of skates, helmets and hockey sticks. He even sold his homemade cream-puffs as a fundraiser and spent the $360 raised to purchase additional equipment. He so-

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Joe York and some of the kids that enjoyed the ice rink he created at Neighborhood House. licited donations from the St. Paul Fire Department, West Side Boosters, Highland Arena, and Yer Chang of El Rio Vista Recreation Center, all of whom were happy to support his efforts. It was magic. Most of the kids, predominantly from immigrant families, had never been on skates before. What a sight to behold! The kids loved it! Routinely on Saturday mornings (or any other time that the rink was open) Joe would find a crowd of kids waiting for him to open the rink, no matter how cold it was. There was a 7-year-old, new to skating, who by the end of winter had developed into quite a hockey player. They simply had a blast. Joe created the ultimate winter experience for kids who had come from very different cultures and wouldn’t under any other circumstances get the opportunity to skate and play hockey.


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To take it even further, Joe arranged two outings. He loaded more than a dozen kids into the big Neighborhood House van and took them to the Highland and Roseville indoor ice arenas. They were awestruck. We are so proud to have Joe as part of the Neighborhood House staff. He exemplifies the best of our organization. What’s in store for next year? Joe plans to do it all again. In the meantime he will focus on the new season at hand by once again arranging for a golf camp for the kids (golf is his other passion). Joe spends much of his spare time volunteering with the kids and helping out in our Basic Needs area. Thanks, Joe, for all you have given to the kids in our community. As always, our doors are open here at Neighborhood House and we look forward to your next visit.

We’re bursting with exciting activities! FREE events at Cerenity Senior Care Humboldt: Fri., May 9, 1:30 p.m. Colleen Heibler, Mother’s Day Performance Tues., May 13, 1:30 p.m. Kico Rangel and the Strolling Mariachis Wed., May 21, 2:30 p.m. Pages of Music Mon., May 26, Memorial Day Celebration, 1:30 p.m. Service with Betty Rydell in the Park If you would like to volunteer or learn more about our programs, please contact Denise Rene Hannah at 651-220-1789 or To learn more about our services or arrange a tour, call 651-220-1700.

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C ommunity Columns

Your community news and information source

Christine Shyne executive director

Rebecca Noecker WSCO board president


n April 8, I attended a community forum cohosted by WSCO and the Friends of the Mississippi River. The purpose was to discuss the new West Side Flats Master Plan, which is being drafted by a community task force and is now open for public comment. I found the event to be a tremendous example of what WSCO is all about. First, the topic was one of great importance to the West Side community: the plan’s proposal to allow building heights up to 125 feet on seven parcels of the Flats. Friends of the Mississippi River and many com-

munity members are concerned that these heights may block views of the bluffs and the river valley, views that are among St. Paul’s most unique natural assets. WSCO exists to promote a higher quality of life on the West Side, and preserving our geologic heritage is an important part of that, so our participation in this forum aligned perfectly with our mission. The second aspect of the forum that impressed me was its inclusive format. In addition to John Anfinson of the National Park Service, who gave a brief presentation on the historic and geologic significance of the views of the river from downtown St. Paul,

the forum featured three additional presenters who respectively represented the city of St. Paul, private developers and community members. Unlike many panel discussions I’ve attended in which the moderator spends most of the time reading panelist bios and asking questions that were developed in advance, in this discussion the introductory comments were kept short and panelists were only asked questions from the audience. This structure made me feel like I was participating in a conversation, rather than sitting passively through a lecture. WSCO aims to be inclusive in all that it does, and events structured like this one afford participants a truly engaging experience. Unfortunately, while the format of the event was inclusive, the audience was not diverse ethnically or in terms of age. This is a common challenge that we at WSCO face, not a difficulty unique to this particular event. Still, we know that

our work is only effective if it represents the views of all those who live on the West Side, so we are making a special commitment this year to engage a more diverse group of residents in our committees and our conversations. The final noteworthy element of the event was that it was co-hosted by Friends of the Mississippi River and WSCO. Though there’s often significant work needed

to pull off such an event in collaboration, I believe it was the combined work of both groups that made the event so successful. This collaboration is an essential aspect of our work at WSCO. We are committed to our role as a convener and a facilitator — not doing all the work ourselves, but supporting community members and groups with a passion for improving our neighborhood in a variety

of ways. This forum was just part of the conversation about the West Side Flats Master Plan, which will guide the development of the Flats for decades. Please take a moment to read the plan. You can find it on the City’s website at, or contact WSCO at 651293-1708 for a copy — and share your thoughts with us.

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