Page 1

December 2011 Volume 8 Number 12

IN THIS ISSUE... • • • •

Entertainment.. ............................ page 6 Sports.......................................... page 8 River Connections.. ...................... page 9 History...................................... page 12

Catch the spirit of the season

Photo by James Ramsay www.jamesramsayphotography.com

Nick Jerhoff hops onto the ice during high school hockey tryouts at the Wakota Arena.

Upgrades at Wakota Arena come at opportune time Bill Knight Contributing Writer

T

he Wakota Arena, which has been a part of the South St. Paul landscape since 1962, is in the process of getting some needed improvements. These upgrades are timely

since the arena is expected to attract more skaters in the coming months with the March, 2012 closing of the ice arena in West St. Paul. Currently, the arena can hold about 3,000 people for an event and annually attracts between 400,000 and 500,000 visitors.

“It’s just a little facelift that we are giving her, just some cosmetic changes,” said Jayson Dwelle, manager of the nearly 50 year old facility. The renovations to the arena, totaling about $323,000, began in 2009 shortly after Dwelle took

over as manager. Here’s a rundown of the changes as they happened. A new parking lot was added early on in the twoyear renovation process. Next were some 300 gallons

Wakota Arena / Page 3

Christmas in South St. Paul presents ‘Symbols of the Season’ - The 37th annual Christmas in South St. Paul presents “Symbols of the Season” Sun., Dec. 4, at Luther Memorial Church, 315 - 15th Ave. N., South St. Paul. Shows are at 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. This community celebration features the South St. Paul Male Chorus, the South St. Paul Choralettes, the South St. Paul Varsity Singers and the South St. Paul Children’s Choir. Tickets are $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and $3 for students age 18 and under, and will be sold at the door. For more information, call Kathy Petrie at 651451-7694. Holidaze in South St. Paul - Holidaze events begin at 5 p.m., Thurs., Dec. 8, at Central Square Community Center, 100 - 7th Ave. N., South St. Paul. Activities include photos with Santa, crafts with Mrs. Claus, a holiday story time and the annual tree lighting ceremony. At 6:30 p.m., South St. Paul Mayor Beth Baumann, Santa Claus and community choirs will lead the procession to the community Christmas tree for caroling and the lighting ceremony. The Mayor’s Youth Task Force is collecting hats and mittens to decorate the tree. All items will be donated to Neighbors, Inc. For more information, contact Deb Griffith, community affairs liaison, at 651-554-3230 or deb.griffith@southstpaul.org. Skate with Santa - Skating with Santa is offered 11:10 a.m.-12:10 p.m., Sat., Dec. 17, at Wakota Arena, 141 - 6th St. S., South St. Paul. Skate rental is free with a nonperishable food item for Neighbors, Inc. The event will feature holiday music and refreshments. For more information, contact Deb Griffith, community affairs liaison, at 651-554-3230 or deb.griffith@southstpaul. org. Breakfast with Santa - The South St. Paul Lions Club is hosting its Annual Breakfast with Santa, 9-11 a.m., Sat., Dec. 10, at Lincoln Center, 357 – 9th Ave. N., South St. Paul. The Southwest Lioness Santa Store will be open for holiday shopping, and photos with Santa will be available for a small fee. Cost for the breakfast is $3 per person, children under age 6 eat free. For more information, visit www.southstpaul.org or call South St. Paul Parks and Recreation at 651-306-3690.

Truth in Taxation meeting set for December 5 will increase by 2.38 percent. Part of the increase is to replenish funds for repair public hearing and and eventual replacement of adoption of the South police cars and public works St. Paul city budget are vehicles such as snow plows scheduled for 7:15 p.m., and loaders. Funds are also Wed., Dec. 5, at City Hall. being directed toward pubProperty taxes are expected lic works and the rising cost to increase by 6 percent next of road repairs. Of the total year, while the City budget. budget, Public Safety makes. . . Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer

A

up 48.5 percent, General Government 17.5 percent and Public Works 12 percent. More than 60 percent of dollars going to these departments are for salaries and benefits. However, the City considers South Metro Fire a professional service. If you include their compensation, more. .

than 75 percent is going toward salaries and benefits. South St. Paul is getting hit hard by the steady decline in Local Government Aid (LGA). In addition, $191,500 in market value homestead credits, which were paid by the state last year, are being eliminated for 2012.

REVENUE SOURCES 2011 LGA Funds $1,248,039 2011 Property Taxes $7,880,133 2012 LGA Funds $832,000, down $416,039 or 33 percent 2012 Property Taxes $8,352,760, up + $472,627 or 6 percent

LGA was an attractive program when the economy was thriving and the state was flush with money. But the economic downturn has the state struggling to balance its own budget. As a result, it has resorted to dipping into LGA as a revenue

Tax meeting / Page 3


E ducation Catholic schools consolidate Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer

L

ook for changes in Catholic school education in South St. Paul next year. Holy Trinity and St. John Vianney will close their doors at the end of this school year and reopen at the St. John Vianney site, 1815 Bromley St., with a new name and a consolidated pre-K through 8th grade program for the 2012

school year. The reconfiguration was part of the Archdiocese’s strategic plan put into place in October, 2010. Financial and demographic issues led to an evaluation of all Catholic schools, including how best to use available resources more effectively. Results of the evaluation have also led to the reconfiguration of the West Side’s St. Matthew’s and West St. Paul’s St. Michael’s Catholic

schools, which will consolidate next year as well. The newly consolidated schools will be campuses for a regional school, which is in the process of being formed. Each site will be controlled by a board of directors, consisting of a parish priest and lay person from each of the four consolidated schools, as well as the West Side’s Our Lady of Guadalupe. Details of the schools’ reconfiguration are a work in progress.

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Pat Gannon, principal of St. John Vianney, is happy that South St. Paul will still have a Catholic school in operation, and believes the consolidation will provide more educational and cocurricular opportunities for the students. Currently, St. John Vianney operates as a pre-K through sixth grade school with 100 students. But with nine classrooms and plenty of room for expansion, the newly merged school will add 7th and

Trinity and St. John Vianney will close ApprovalHoly Client their doors at the end of this school year and Stevens Tax and Accounting, Inc. reopen at the St. John Vianney site.

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425 S. Concord, South St. Paul • 651-455-6611 The South St. Paul Voice is published monthly and distributed to 8,500 homes and high traffic businesses in South St. Paul. Publisher & Editor: Tim Spitzack Copy Editor: Leslie Martin Reporter: Mary Diedrick Hansen Contributors: Bill Knight, Lois Glewwe Masthead design by Nick Germano Advertising: Henry Torres, Mona Toft, John Ahlstrom Home Delivery: Independent Delivery Service Bulk Delivery: SC Distribution 651-285-1119

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C ity Government Wakota Arena from page 1 of paint were utilized to dress-up the facility. “The color is still an offwhite gray and maroon, which is about the same, so that it still feels like the same building,” he said. Improved lighting was required because illumination was below recommended levels. “We went from incandescent lights to high-efficiency florescent units,” said Dwelle. The waist-high hockey boards around the rink were upgraded with a plas-

Tax meeting from page 1 source. The state certifies (promises) a certain amount of funds to cities across the state. The cities worked that amount into their budgets until the State began to unallot (reduce) the payments to cities, using part of the promised and already budgeted dollars to balance the

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closing of the West St. Paul ice arena will bring more skaters to Wakota Arena. He also mentioned there are other rinks in the area that compete with Wakota for skaters, including two rinks in Inver Grove Heights, one at St. Thomas Academy and the Yakel Arena on the West Side. “People who have considered West St. Paul as their home ice probably have a familiarity with Wakota,. based on our proximity and Competing likely they have been here for skaters for a tournament,” said EsChris Esser, South St. ser. “But we know we’ll face Paul Parks and Recreation. more competition.” director, said he expects the

Arena numbers down slightly

state budget. This process created havoc for city financial directors who then had to scramble to replace the difference in promised LGA to keep their cities operating. LGA has become an unreliable revenue source, and South St. Paul is in the middle of a four-year plan to reduce its reliance on LGA. From a high of nearly $3.5 million in 2003, LGA

the budget altogether, or at least until the state budget becomes more stable. If the city receives more than the amount budgeted, those dollars are put into a onetime capital expenditure fund. LGA benefited homeowners in South St. Paul by keeping property taxes low. Businesses contribute to the tax base as well, and South St. Paul has been struggling

tic covering to better insulate the ice surface, reduce noise, and improve appearance, and new flooring was. installed in the spectator areas. Wi-Fi is also now available throughout the building. “People now are almost demanding that,” said Dwelle of the technology upgrade. “Ten years ago that would never have happened.”

for South St. Paul is down to $1.39 million in 2012. However, Josh Feldman, South St. Paul’s financial director, is budgeting only $832,000 in LGA, based on what’s happened in previous years. Until state budgets become more stable, Feldman expects the downward slide in LGA funding to continue and will budget below certified funding until LGA is eliminated from

down somewhat, Dwelle said. He cited an aging population as one reason for the The majority of the decline. groups at Wakota arena are “It’s still an excellent form youth associations and high of exercise, and with some school hockey teams, said minor protective equipDwelle. Nine youth skating ment it’s no more dangerassociations from South St. ous than walking on the Paul and the surrounding sidewalk in the winter area and two high school time,” Dwelle said. teams — South St. Paul Another reason for the and Henry Sibley — use the decline, he believes, is the arena. Although the facility perception that hockey is a does not have a skating club. game for the affluent. now, 3,000 to 5,000 recre“That’s a misconception ational skaters use the arena because you can make hockeach year. ey as cheap or expensive as. Over the past five years. you want,” said Dwelle. “If. those numbers have gone. . . .

to get more commercial business into town. Taxes from the BridgePointe business district are being directed toward further commercial development and capital improvements within that district and not toward the operation of the city.

you send your team to six. tournaments a year or buy a $180 stick, then sure, it’s going to be expensive.” Dwelle said more services are now being offered at the arena to attract users, such as a learn-to-skate program, now in its second season, that has about 80 skaters of all ages. There are additional hours for public figure skating and the same for hockey players who want to just skate and shoot. In addition, Wakota Arena now offers a skate sharpening service.

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N ews Briefs Fare for All Express Fare for All Express will be held 4-6 p.m., Tues., Jan. 3, at Central Square Community Center, 100 - 7th Ave. N. Fare for All Express is a program of the Emergency Foodshelf Network that partners with organi-

Your community news and information source zations around the Twin Cities metro area, including South St. Paul Central Square Community Center. It is a cooperative food buying program that buys food in bulk directly from wholesalers and passes the savings on to participants. The program can result in a 50

Have a safe and happy holiday season and don't forget your neighbors.

percent savings on monthly groceries by purchasing “express packages.” No advance payment or pre-registration is needed to purchase packages and there is no limit to the number of packages that can be purchased each month. Fare For All is open to everyone. There are no

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income-based requirements for participation. Participation does not affect eligibility to receive assistance from a foodshelf. For more information, call 651-3063690 or visit www.southstpaul.org.

New fitness equipment at Central Square Central Square Community Center recently installed new FreeMotion strength equipment, and new cardio equipment will arrive in January. The Center is located at 100 - 7th Ave. N., South St. Paul, and houses a state-of-theart workout room, indoor pool, gymnastics facility and offers a wide variety of fitness classes. For more information, call 651-3063690 or visit www.southst-

paul.org (click on Parks and Recreation Department/ Central Square Community Center).

Winter programs at CSCC

The South St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department and the Central Square Community Center (CSCC) winter brochure will be mailed in mid-December. Brochures are also available at the CSCC front desk, 100 - 7th Ave. N., and at www.southstpaul.org (click on Parks and Recreation Department/Central Square Community Center).  The brochure includes many program offerings, including special events, non-school day field trips, outdoor skating rink information and a wide variety of fitness classes. For more

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Page 4 - South St. Paul Voice - December 2011

information, call 651-3063690.

Floats and Flicks party A Floats and Flicks party is offered 6-8 p.m., Fri., Dec. 16, at the Central Square Community Center pool, 100 - 7th Ave. N., South St. Paul. This event, which features swimming and a movie shown on a large screen, is for all ages.  Cost is $3.25. For more information, call 651-3063690.

Outdoor rinks open Dec. 17 South St. Paul’s outdoor ice skating rinks are scheduled to open Dec. 17. Harmon Rink has a hockey rink and indoor warming facility. Rinks with hockey, pleasure skating and warming facilities include Lorraine Rink, Jefferson  Rink and Bromley Rink.  A pleasure skating rink is located at Seidls Lake Park, although there is no warming facility at that location. Warming house hours are 4:30-8 p.m., Mon.-Thurs.; 4:308:30 p.m., Fri.; noon-8:30 p.m., Sat., and 1-6 p.m., Sun.  Special hours apply during holidays and nonschool breaks.  

Redeemer Al-Anon relocates After nearly 40 years at the former Divine Redeemer Hospital site in South St. Paul, the Redeemer Family Al-Anon group has moved its Tuesday meeting place to Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul. Because of the recent closing of Cerenity Care Center-Bethesda, the former Divine Redeemer Hospital site, Redeemer Al-Anon has moved its Tuesday 7 p.m. meetings to the lower level at Augustana Lutheran Church, 1400 S. Robert St. in West St. Paul. Inver Grove Heights Alateen, formerly located at St. Patrick’s Church in Inver Grove Heights, has also moved its meetings to Augustana and holds its meetings in a separate room on Tuesday evenings. Anyone interested in learning more about the 12-Step Al-Anon or Alateen program is welcome to attend the meetings.


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Library happenings

• Digital photography workshop - Dan Grevas, a For more information on the following library events, local professional photographer, will provide free traincall 651-554-3240 or visit www.southstpaul.org/library. ing in digital photography during a three-part workshop • Book discussions - Lisa See’s “Shanghai Girls” is the designed to help photographers at beginner levels learn title discussed in December. It’s 1937 in Shanghai and how to use their cameras to take great photos. Online two beautiful girls learn what life is all about when their registration begins Dec. 22. Dates are Jan. 5, 12 and father gambles and loses. They’re off to America to meet 26, from 6:30-8 p.m. Attendance at all three sessions is their new husbands. The Wednesday group meets at 1 required. p.m., Dec. 21, and the Thursday group at 7 p.m., Dec. • Hot Reads for Cold Nights - Hot Reads for Cold 15. Both meetings are held in the library meeting room. Nights adult reading program begins Tues., Jan. 3, and on where to from Information packets are availableInatMinnesota, the library’s you fronthave runsmany eight choices weeks. Participants mayeducate read or your listen child, to desk or at www.southstpaul.org/library. Participants to parochial to charterwhatever schools. Here some schools innovative appr book theyare want and register to using win prizes. are asked to bring a non-perishable food item for the • Story times Baby story times are offered at 6:30 that address specific needs and interests. library’s food drive for Neighbors, Inc. p.m., Dec. 5 and 12, and family story times at 10:15 • December Food Drive - The library is collect- a.m., Dec. 6 and 13. St. Paul City School ing non-perishable boxed and canned food goods for BILINGUAL • PawsPreK-8 to R.E.A.D. - Caesar, a reading therapy dog, Neighbors, Inc. food shelf. Donated food items brought will be at the library 4:30-5:15 p.m., Dec. 14 and 28. 260 Edmund Ave., St. Paul to the library in December will Bilingual be placedChildcare around a fes- Registration is required. 651-225-9177 Education Center tive tree, with library staff periodically making deliveries • Winter Wonderland Festival - This event, held www.stpaulcityschool.org 18 months to age 10 to the food shelf. 1-2:30 p.m., Wed., Dec. 28, features games, crafts, sto1514 Englewood Ave., St. Paul • Open House - December is the library’s anniversary ries and music for kids of all ages. PAROCHIAL month. To celebrate, it will host 651-644-2405 an open house 11 a.m.• Teen Book Club - This club for ages 12-18 will meet 2 p.m., Tues., Dec. 13. The eventwww.bilingualchildcaremn.com features hot beverages, at 3:30 p.m., Wed., Dec. 7, at the Black Sheep Coffee Michael School of holiday cookies, harp and flute music and a Mardi-Gras- Café, 705St.Southview PUBLIC/CHARTER West St. PaulBlvd. The title being discussed is themed tree. “Dash and K-8Lily’s Book of Dares” by Rachel Cohn and • Holiday closings - The library will beArts closed Academic HighFri., SchoolDavid Levithan. CopiesSt., areWest available at the library. 335 E. Hurley St. Paul Dec. 2 for a staff in-service day.60ItE.will alsoAve. be West closedSt. Paul• Hunger Marie Games event This event, held 6-7:30 651-457-2510 Sat., Dec. 24, Mon., Dec. 26 and Mon., Jan. 2 for the p.m., Thurs., 651-457-7427 Dec. 29, will teach teens new skills, like www.smswsp.org holidays. www.academic-arts.org knot tying and archery. Participants are invited to create • eBook Basics - Learn more about downloading free a costume representing their team’s district, grab supeBooks from the library at an informational held Communitysession of Peace Academy plies from the cornucopia, and battle trivia style. Space 6:30-7:30 p.m., Thurs., Dec. 1. K-12 is limited, so registration is required. Visit www.stpaulpublishing.com/schoo 471will E. Magnolia Ave., St. Paul• Knitting • Internet Basics - A class that provide instrucCrash Course - An introduction to knit651-776-5151 tion on navigating a web browser, exploring the library’s ting course for isa offered link totoexplore these schools and for tips o teens ages 12-18 from 2-4:30 website, finding information andwww.cpa.charter.k12.mn.us printing web pages is p.m., Fri., Dec. 30. Allthat supplies provided. Space is and fam a school bestarefits your student's offered 10-11 a.m., Tues., Dec. 6. limited, so registration is required.

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South Metro Fire purchases new rescue boat South Metro Fire recently purchased a new fire/rescue boat that is fitted with full fire suppression and water rescue capabilities, as well as navigation and thermal imaging equipment to aid in nighttime rescues. The 28-foot landing-craft style boat cost about $153,000 and was custom-designed and manufactured by Lake Assault Boats. It was paid for through a federal cost-sharing grant from the United States Coast Guard’s Upper Midwest Area Maritime Security Council. Marathon Petroleum also contributed to the purchase, relieving the cities of West St. Paul and South St Paul of all purchase costs. For more information, call 651-552-4176 or visit www.southmetrofire. com. MERRIAM PARK

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GENERAL CONTRACTORS A. DeTomaso Construction 651-789-3100 ron@detomasoconstruction. com www.detomasoconstruction. com Nilles Builders, Inc. 651-222-8701 www.nillesbuilders.com Superior Home Remodeling 651-434-5291 superiorhomeremodelingllc@gmail.com www.shr-mn.com

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South St. Paul Voice - December 2011 - Page 5


S ample St. Paul Artists’ Quarter The Artists’ Quarter, located in the Historic Hamm Building at Seventh Place and St. Peter in downtown St. Paul, offers live entertainment throughout the month, including jazz bands, poetry nights and the popular B-3 organ night, held at 9 p.m. every Tuesday. For a complete schedule of events, call 651292-1359 or visit www.artistsquarter.com.

Children’s Museum “Rainforest Adventure”

Your community news and information source

is presented through Jan. 8, 2012. This mulit-sensory expedition introduces visitors to tropical rainforests around the world, highlights the challenges facing these unique ecological wonders and suggests ways that people can make a difference. “Storyland: A Trip Through Childhood Favorites” is featured through Feb. 5, 2012. This exhibit brings children and adults into the world of seven beloved picture books. From the gardens of “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” to the urban snowscape of “The Snowy

Day” and the tropical island of “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,” Storyland engages visitors in early literature adventures. Tickets are $8.95. The museum is located at 10 W. Seventh St., St. Paul. For more information, call 651-2256000 or visit www.mcm. org. Explore the museum free of charge 9 a.m.-5 p.m. the third Sunday of each month.

History Center “1968” is presented through Feb. 20, 2012. The year 1968 was a year of extremes: of comedy and

Photo illustration by Jeanne Kosfeld

“Cinderella” is presented Dec. 13-Jan. 1, 2012, at the Ordway Center.

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Page 6 - South St. Paul Voice - December 2011

Night Wrecker Friday Nights $5 bottomless mug (12 oz.), 9 p.m.-midnight

tragedy, of love and hate, of a president stepping down and a leader being gunned down, of violence on the front lines and on the home front, of graceful athletes and powerful protests, and of the promise of law and order. In one single year America saw it all and the highlights of that year are featured in this exhibit. Museum tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and college students, and $5 for children ages 6-17. The center offers free admission on Tuesdays, 5-8 p.m. For more information, call 651-259-3000 or visit www.mnhs.org.

History Theatre Sample Night Live, a sampling of local productions, is featured at the History Theatre at 7 p.m. the first Wednesday of each month, except February. The format features 12 acts per night, including theater, film, dance, improv, visual arts, folk and opera. The next performance is Dec. 7. Tickets are $20. The History Theater is located at 30 E. Tenth St., St. Paul. For more information, call 651-292-4323 or visit www.historytheatre. com.

Landmark Center PipJazz Sundays concert - Esera Tuaolo, former Minnesota Viking and current recording artist, will perform in the F. K. Weyerhaeuser Auditorium at 5 p.m., Dec. 4. PipJazz Sundays is hosted by Independent singer-songwriter Pippi Ardennia, a nationally recognized jazz/blues artist. Each month, the concert series features local guest performers, as well as a core ensemble of local musicians. Tickets are $15

in advance or $20 at the door. For more information, call 651-472-9331 or visit www.pipjazz.com. Saint Paul City Ballet will perform excerpts from “The Enchanted Toy Shop” at noon, Dec. 13. For more information, call 651-6901588. Red House Record artists Robin and Linda Williams will perform in the F. K. Weyerhaeuser Auditorium at 8 p.m., Fri., Dec. 16. Favorites on “A Prairie Home Companion,” the duo performs a blend of bluegrass, folk, old-time and acoustic country music. For more information, call 651-292-3063. The Landmark Center is located at 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul. For more information, call the Event Hotline at 651-292-3225.

Fitzgerald Theatre Kevin Kling’s “Of Mirth and Mischief ” is presented at 8 p.m., Fri., Dec. 16 and Sat., Dec. 17, and 2 p.m. Sun., Dec. 18. This performance is a fantastical journey that explores the world of broken fairies and mischievous elves that rule the dusk and dawn — all through the wondrous tale of a young boy’s experience. Tickets are $29. The Fitzgerald Theatre is located at 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul. For more information, call 651 290-1200.

Ordway Center “Cinderella” is presented Dec. 13-Jan. 1, 2012, at the Ordway Center, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. The timeless enchantment of this magical fairy tale is reborn with the Ordway’s production of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella. “First presented on television starring Julie Andrews,


S ample St. Paul Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” was the most widely viewed program in the history of the medium. It has been elegantly adapted for the stage, with great warmth and a touch of hilarity. The hearts of children and adults are guaranteed to soar when the slipper fits. Songs include: “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible,” “Ten Minutes Ago,” “The Prince is Giving a Ball,” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” Tickets are $27-$98. For more information, call 651224-4222 or visit www.ordway.org.

Park Square Theatre “Hot Chocolate” is presented Nov. 30-Dec. 18, at Park Square Theatre, located in the Historic Hamm Building at 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. A young couple juggles competing family expectations, literally shopping ‘til they drop. When they finally stop for a cup of hot chocolate, they discover the “secret recipe” that can weave the diverse threads of their lives into new traditions. Filled with contemporary and classic music,

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this simple story reminds us all that love and family are at the heart of the season. Tickets are $38-$58. “The Soul of Gershwin: The Musical Journey of an American Klezmer” is presented Dec. 8-Jan. 1, 2012. Travel with George Gershwin to the city that stirs his soul – bustling with Yiddish theater, cantor chants, popular tunes, folk songs, blues, jazz and opera. Tickets are $38-$58. For more information, call 651-291-7005 or. visit www.parksquaretheatre.org.

“Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters” is presented at the Science Museum, 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. From earthquakes and volcanoes to hurricanes and tornadoes, nature’s forces have shaped our planet. Throughout history, these catastrophic phenomena have affected people around the world. This exhibit reveals the causes of these natural disasters and explains how people cope and adapt in the aftermath,

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S ports

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A Sectional Final for the Ages Editor’s Note: The win over St. Thomas Academy propelled the Packers into the state tournament for the first time since 2004. For reasons unknown, the state high school league does not seed tournament teams in football as they do in almost every other sport. On Nov. 11, the Packers traveled to Chanhassen High School (a neutral site) to face #1 rated Mankato West and were defeated 35-14. Over the past two seasons, the team posted a 20-3 record, captured one conference championship, tallied five post-season victories and earned the admiration and respect of this community. John Ahlstrom Staff Writer

T

here was still a full hour before kickoff when I arrived at Jerry Brown Stadium on the campus of St. Thomas Academy on Nov. 4 to chronicle the 4AAAA sectional final between the Cadets and the South St. Paul Packers. Already, fans were elbow to elbow in the stands on both sides of the field. “This is going to be something special,” I muttered to myself. Seldom have I been so clairvoyant. Let the drama begin. On the first play from scrim-

mage, Cadet quarterback John Gould hit Teddy Andrews in stride on a 50-yard strike to the South St. Paul two-yard line. Hootie Hubbell scored and St. Thomas led 7-0. Later in the quarter, South St. Paul quarterback Harrison Rund mishandled the center snap on a punt attempt and St. Thomas took over at the Packer three-yard line. Suddenly it was 14-0. Eight seconds later, Rund was intercepted at the South St. Paul 20-yard line. The defense stiffened, but Wyatt Schmidt’s 23yard field goal expanded the lead to 17-0. Barely two minutes into the second quarter, this game appeared destined to mimic the previous nine clashes between these two Classic Suburban Conference rivals. St. Thomas had hammered the Packers in all nine, including a 35-7 victory in the 2010 sectional final. Just as the unfaithful readied to write another Packer obituary, there appeared a ray of hope. South St. Paul embarked on a 14play, six minute drive that culminated with a 30-yard field goal by Kevin Ward. It was 17-3. Never mind that All-State running back Sam Sura had just been assisted off the field, unable to put

any weight on his left ankle. There was some life in these Packers. It was now the defense’s turn to make a play. A punishing tackle separated quarterback Gould from the football and the Packers recovered at the Cadet 16. Rund’s 7-yard scamper cut the lead to 17-10, and it appeared at halftime that we were going to have ourselves a ball game. That notion took a severe hit when the Cadets cruised 66 yards in 2:36 to take a 24-10 lead on its first possession of the second half and South St. Paul responded by gift-wrapping a fumble on another botched punt attempt. The Cadets were first-and-goal at the two-yard line. With the Packers facing an almost certain 31-10 deficit, Gould did the unthinkable. He fumbled and the Packers recovered 18 inches from their goal line. With 2:28 to go in the third quarter, South St. Paul took over on its 17yard line. At that moment, the Packer offensive line, manned by five seniors who have played together since middle school, seized control of the line of scrimmage. Included in the 74yard drive was a magnificent 44-yard run by Sam

Jubilant Center Nick Parker (79) lifts the championship trophy. “miraculously cured at halftime” Sura. But, horror of all horrors, with the ball at the Cadet nine-yard line, an ill-fated halfback pass play ended with an interception in the end zone. South St. Paul was back on life support, albeit very briefly. Gould’s perfectly thrown spiral deep in Packer territory sailed through the hands of Andrews and into the waiting arms of Packer safety Sam Doody. The Packers trailed by 14 with 6:13 left in regulation. On 10 rushing plays, they drove 58 yards and struck pay dirt. It was 24-16 and it stayed that way when Ward’s point-after attempt

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sailed wide to the right. That made the task at hand a bit more problematic, but no one on the revved up Packer sideline looked overly concerned. The clock read 3:23. Coach Chad Sexauer ordered an onside kick. No problem. The Packers executed it to perfection and recovered the ball at the Cadet 47-yard line. After a six-yard loss and two incomplete passes, the Packers faced a fourth and 16. No problem. Rund threw a strike to Alex Kieger near the left sideline and he wiggled his way past the firstdown marker. Five plays later, Sura scored. It was 2422, and the Packers needed a two-point conversion. No problem – Sam Sura over left guard. 24-24. There were 49 ticks left on the clock. St. Thomas moved expeditiously down the field and, aided by a very questionable personal foul penalty, the ball was moved to the Packer 17yard line with five seconds to go. With a brisk wind at his back, the dependable Schmidt would certainly

win it for the Cadets. Not on this night. The field goal attempt was blocked. St. Thomas got the first possession of the overtime period and took just two plays to score from the 10yard line. Schmidt’s extra point made the score 31-24. The Packers countered with a nifty 10-yard keeper by Rund. It was 31-30. Coach Sexauer chose to go for two points and the win. “It was time to go home,” he explained after the game. It was. That magnificent offensive line that had generated 212 yards rushing in the second half alone was not going to be denied, nor was Sam Sura. He squeezed into the end zone. It was 32-31 and several hundred Packer faithful stormed the field. Twenty minutes later, in the midst of the jubilation, I approached the head coach and said to him, “That might have been the greatest high school football game ever played.” He winked and said, “It was pretty good, wasn’t it?” It sure was.

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Page 8 - South St. Paul Voice - December 2011 cinderella 6.75x6.indd 1

11/3/11 12:32 PM

Letter to the Editor

Thank you to all who volunteered their time to help with the 5th annual Veterans Benefit that was held Sat., Oct. 15. Thanks to Buggs’ Place and the V.V.A. Chapter 639. Thank you to all who donated food items and/or money this year. I appreciate all your help in making this year’s benefit a success. Thank you to all who attended the benefit. I hope to see all of you here next year. John Lynch Benefit Coordinator VVA Chapter 639 of South St. Paul


R iver Connections Reflections from the Riverfront

Your community news and information source time—12:30 p.m.—at the same place—a park bench in Harriet Island Regional Park—on the first Friday of each month to observe what happens around me and reflect on what it means to live in a river town. November 4, 2011 12:30 p.m. 53 degrees; sunny; cool breeze

Tim Spitzack Editor

I

’m a Mississippi River guy. I love most everything about it: its beauty, its history and its ties to our culture and commerce. I’ve been covering issues and activities along St. Paul’s riverfront for over seven years and have come to understand that having one of the world’s mightiest rivers in our backyard makes us a special city, or more aptly, a special river town. Inspired by the book “Saint Croix Notes,” which I purchased at a library

book sale recently for 50¢, I thought I’d add a new twist to my coverage of the river. “Saint Croix Notes,” written by Noah Adams, former host of National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” program, is a collection of essays that Adams penned about his life in the St. Croix River Valley. Many of us who live in the Mississippi River Valley share some type of affection for the river, or at least have an affiliation to it. For the next 12 months, I’ve decided to spend 30 minutes along the Mississippi riverfront at roughly the same

As I sit in the warm confines of my truck in the parking lot at Harriet Island Regional Park, the day outside my windshield looks glorious. The sun is shining brightly in a cloudless sky, the wind is fluttering a nearby American Flag perched high on a pole, and the river is a sparkling blue. The baring trees and the swirling leaves are the only things that visibly differentiate this day from the more temperate days of weeks past, when summer ruled the land. Once out of my truck, the cool breeze reminds me that it is indeed autumn. I pull the zipper of my jacket to my chin and walk briskly to a bench near the riverfront. There are over a dozen similar benches scattered throughout the park, all empty, so I have my pick. I choose one that is near the middle of the park, one that affords me a good view of the river and the surrounding area. It’s not long before people begin to pass by. Some are

young, some are old, and all are dressed for their activity. The runners and bikers wear light, breathable attire, while the walkers are covered in sweatshirts and polar fleece; some are even donned in heavy winter jackets and puffy ear muffs. They all pass by without looking directly at me. They are engaged in conversation, the exertion of their sport, or are deep in thought, as it should be along the river. An elderly couple walks by hand-in-hand, silent. A group of women follows them and I hear a fragmented three second conversation about a difficult workplace situation. Nearby, a couple stands on opposite sides of a massive cottonwood tree, hugs its girth and tries to clasp each other’s hands, unsuccessfully. They step back, eye-up the tree, smile broadly and continue on their way. Upriver are the boats of the Padleford Riverboat Company, which this spring mourned the passing of its founder, Captain Bill Bowell. Downstream the boys at Upper River Services are busy moving barges around the harbor so a towboat can take them down river. Around Thanksgiving each year, the last of the barges is gone, and about nine million tons of commodities will have been shipped to distant ports. Some of the crew on the last trip south will ride the season all the way to New Orleans

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and experience the height of autumn in nine states. In New Orleans today it is not much warmer than here—64 degrees—but the forecast calls for upper 70s in the coming days. Ours calls for lower 40s. This past weekend, while watching the Vikings squeak out a narrow victory in North Carolina and seeing the warm, sunny weather surrounding the stadium, my brother-in-law posed the question: “Why do we live in Minnesota?” It’s a fair question, especially from someone who grew up on the Iron Range and endured his share of brutal winter weather. It’s a question that occupies our conversations these days as we brace ourselves for the approaching season. Many are hustling to get outdoor chores done before the snow arrives, and I’m no different than the rest. This week I purchased firewood, cleaned our windows and garage, and am planning to spend the upcoming weekend mulching the many leaves that are blanketing my yard. Although a busy time,

the changing of the seasons is an exciting time, and it’s these days that keep many of us in this state, especially the six to eight weeks in the spring that make us forget about sub-zero temps, snow and wind chill, and the same amount of time in the fall that erase from our memories the long, hot, muggy days of summer. Winter is coming, and with it the festive holiday season. Across the river I can see the St. Paul Library on the skyline. On the other side of the library is Rice Park, which becomes a winter wonderland in December. It is home to St. Paul’s Christmas tree, thousands of holiday lights and other seasonal decorations. This year’s tree — a 65-foot tall, 25-foot wide, 50-year-old spruce — was donated by David and Therese Rice of St. Paul. I glance at my watch and see that my time has expired. A brittle, heart-shaped cottonwood leaf is shaken from the tree overhead and gently spins its way into the cold river. It floats with others in the quiet water near the river’s edge. Waiting.

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In Minnesota, you have many choices on where to educate your child, from public to parochial to charter schools. Here are some schools using innovative approaches that address specific needs and interests.

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St. Paul City School BILINGUAL In Minnesota, you have many choices on where to educate your child, from public

PreK-8 to parochial Here are some schools using innovative approaches 260 Edmund Ave., St. Paul Bilingual Childcareto charter schools. that address and interests. Education Center specific needs 651-225-9177 www.stpaulcityschool.org 18 months to age 10 1514 Englewood Ave., St. Paul St. Paul City School BILINGUAL 651-644-2405 PAROCHIAL PreK-8 www.bilingualchildcaremn.com 260 Edmund Ave., St. Paul Bilingual Childcare St.651-225-9177 Michael School of Education Center PUBLIC/CHARTER West St. Paul www.stpaulcityschool.org 18 months to age 10 K-8 1514 Englewood St. Paul Academic Arts HighAve., School 335 E. Hurley St., West St. Paul 651-644-2405 PAROCHIAL 60 E. Marie Ave. West St. Paul www.bilingualchildcaremn.com 651-457-2510 651-457-7427 www.smswsp.org St. Michael School of www.academic-arts.org PUBLIC/CHARTER West St. Paul K-8 Community of Peace Academy Academic Arts High School 335 E. Hurley St., West St. Paul K-12 60 E. Marie Ave. West St. Paul 651-457-2510 Visit www.stpaulpublishing.com/schoolchoice.html 471 E. Magnolia Ave., St. Paul 651-457-7427 www.smswsp.org 651-776-5151 for a link to explore these schools and for tips on how to choose www.academic-arts.org www.cpa.charter.k12.mn.us a school that best fits your student's and family's needs. Community of Peace Academy K-12 Visit www.stpaulpublishing.com/schoolchoice.html 471 E. Magnolia Ave., St. Paul 651-776-5151 for a link to explore these schools and for tips on how to choose www.cpa.charter.k12.mn.us

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South St. Paul Voice - December 2011 - Page 9


C ommunity Columns

Your community news and information source

n article in one of the Twin Cities daily newspapers a few weeks ago focused on thrift stores and the fact that most people who donate used clothing and goods to thrift stores don’t know that, in some stores, only a fraction of the value of the items they donate actually goes to a charitable purpose. The article singled out Savers, a national chain of for-profit thrift stores, that gives only about four percent of the proceeds from the sale of donated items to charity. Everything else goes to the corporate parent for expenses or profits. The article also talked about how some non-profit orga-

nizations in the Twin Cities lend their names to clothing pick-up companies in return for about four percent of the value of the donated products. It specifically identified The Lupus Foundation, Vietnam Veterans of America and the Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota as being in this camp. The article pointed out that these organizations do not have access to everything required to obtain, display and sell products themselves, so they believe getting four percent is better than getting nothing at all. What this means is that when you receive a call from someone saying they will be picking up clothing in your neighborhood for one of these organizations, you are not really giving that clothing to the non-profit organization you think you are helping. It is being picked up by a middleman organization that will weigh the bag of clothing and will give the nonprofit about 20 cents a pound, the value of the clothing as rags. This is not the case with Neighbors and the Clothes Closet. While we are only a fraction of the size of other organizations that collect clothing, we have operated our own retail store for gently-used clothing for nearly four decades. Not every item of clothing we receive goes into the store; some of it arrives dirty or torn and isn’t suitable for resale. However, every piece of clothing we receive that is clean and in excellent shape will be priced and sold in the.

Clothes Closet, and all of the funds received will be used to support programs at Neighbors. One other advantage that the Clothes Closet has over most other used clothing stores — for-profit and not-forprofit alike — is that our entire operation is run by volunteers. Every person that works in the Clothes Closet is a volunteer, and there are over 90 people who work there regularly. What this means is that we have very little expenses associated with our operation, so virtually all of the funds earned in the Clothes Closet can be used to support other programs at Neighbors. If you are one of the thousands of people who have donated gently used clothing to Neighbors, or if you are one of the thousands who shop or have shopped at Neighbors, thank you. Be assured that we are gaining the maximum value from every piece of clothing dropped off at Neighbors, and that 100 percent of the money you spend in our store goes to support people in our community who need our assistance. If you haven’t shopped at the Clothes Closet, I invite you to come take a look at what we have to offer. You’ll find a wide selection of quality products in outstanding condition (many of them still have the tags on them) at lower prices than you are likely to find anywhere else.

Happy Holidays everyone! It is hard to believe that we are approaching the end of 2011. When we look

would be easy to say December is a busy month and put our feet up and take it easy for the rest of the year — you know, that long winter’s nap thing — but there is no chance of us doing that. Here are some events that will keep us busy in December. We invite the community to join us for the South St. Paul annual tree lighting event, held at 5 p.m., Thurs., Dec. 8. This free event is part of the Holidaze celebration in South St. Paul and will take place at Central Square. Inside, we will address cards to the troops, host a Holiday story time, write letters to Santa, and host a variety of other activities, including photos with Santa Claus. Outside, the task force and the South Business Association are working together with the

ed will be donated to Neighbors, Inc. If you would like to donate items before the tree lighting event, drop them off at City Hall. On Dec. 8, all collected items will be used to decorate the holiday tree to show the generosity of the people of South St. Paul. If you have any unused holiday cards, the task force would like them. We will be addressing and mailing cards to the troops to wish them a Happy Holiday season. Bring unused cards to Deb Griffith at City Hall. Additionally, we will be sponsoring and volunteering at the Skate with Santa event, held at 11:10 a.m., Sat., Dec. 17, at Wakota Arena. Come strap on some skates and Skate with Santa. Bring a canned food item and skate rental is free. All food will be donated to the

Neighbors, Inc. By John Kemp Executive Director of Neighbors, Inc.

A

back to what we have accomplished, we can definitely say that it has been a really busy and productive year for the task force. It

North Pole to get a special mode of transportation for magical rides. That is all we can say now, you’ll have to come to the event to learn more. At 6:30 p.m., we will be joined by members of the South St. Paul High School Choir, South St. Paul Male Chorus, South St. Paul Choralettes and other community choirs for a candlelit procession to the tree for the annual lighting. Last year, it was a beautiful and moving sight, and we look forward to hosting it again this year. Once the tree is lit, we will make a video Christmas card to share with the world, thanks to Experience Shows, Inc. The task force will host the third annual Hat and Mitten Drive during the Holidaze event. All hats, mittens and scarves collect-

Neighbors, Inc. food shelf. We will also be working on FYI—For Youth Information—with Town Square TV. It is a show about youth, for youth, so tune in for a variety of topics and special guests. In December, like the other months, we are finding things to do in South St. Paul. Whether it is an event, community service project or a donation drive, we are working in the community to make South St. Paul a great place to live, work and play. If you are in grades 5-12 and would like to join us, visit www.southstpaul.org and click on Mayor’s Youth Task Force for an application form. For more information, call Deb Griffith, community affairs liaison, at 651-554-3230. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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C ommunity Columns

Jennifer L. Gale, president

Nancy Fish receives Visions of Excellence Award Nancy Fish, owner of Bywords Printing in South St. Paul, was named the recipient of this year’s Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence Award, given by the River Heights Chamber of Commerce. The award originated in 1986 for the purpose of honoring an individual who has applied themselves completely to the principles of entrepreneurship, ethics and corporate citizenship. Nancy took a risk by starting Bywords Printing in July 1981. Prior to moving her business to South St. Paul, Bywords was located on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, where Nancy was active with the Grand Avenue Business Association and ran the Grand Old Days Parade for many years. She is married to Jerry Payne, and although they do not have any children they do have a love for animals, especially Boxer dogs. Nancy is a member of the Boxer Rescue organization and prints its calendar as a fundraiser.

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Your community news and information source Upon moving their business to South St. Paul in Nov. 1994, Nancy and Jerry immediately became involved with Kaposia Days. In 1995 she was elected to its Board and served as a director until 2000. She served as director of children’s activities, growing the event into a major activity and initiating the infamous Baby Races. Nancy would spend all year looking through catalogs for unique, fun toys for the kids. She and her husband built and stored about 20 children’s carnival games, recruited 30-40 volunteers to help run the event, and printed T-shirts every year for the entire crew. They also priced the tickets so that all children could participate, no matter their economic status. Bywords Printing joined the River Heights Chamber of Commerce in Nov. 1994 and has been active ever since. The company was honored with the Chamber’s Small Business of the Year Award in 1999 for its job creation, sound fiscal management and community commitment. Nancy has served on the Chamber’s board of directors and executive committee, and was chair of the Board in 2005. Bywords has also been an investor in Progress Plus since 2006 and is a supporter of its economic development initiatives.

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Nancy is very involved with the Osman Shrine Women and works tirelessly preparing toys for and ushering at the Osman Shrine Circus. Her basement is a treasure trove of kid’s toys. She also publishes the organization’s monthly newsletter and recently won a national award for the publication. Nancy has served on the Town Square Television board of directors since 2007 and has held leadership roles on its executive committee, board recruitment committee and marketing committee. She is a strong community person, always coming to the rescue to help out an organization or solve a printing issue.  One example of her dedication to her clients is when she formatted and printed a 16-page color program booklet for the Inver Grove Heights Royalty Coronation with one day’s notice, working late into the night to have it done the next morning. Being in the printing business, she is constantly asked to donate printing projects or do them at cost, and she rarely says no. The River Heights Chamber of Commerce and local business community honors Nancy for her dedication that has made a lasting impression.

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South St. Paul Voice - December 2011 - Page 11


B ack in Time Farewell to three leaders Lois Glewwe Contributor

T

hree South St. Paul leaders have passed away in recent weeks. Each was an honored inductee in the Otto Bremer South St. Paul Hall of Excellence, and each had an impact on our community. The Hall of Excellence honors 90 individuals who established an ongoing relationship with South St. Paul and whose lives exemplify excellence in all life’s pursuits. The Hall of Excellence exhibit at Central Square is currently in storage for renovation

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ultimately led to the formation of the South St. Paul Educational Foundation. As board chair, St. Peter often spent 30 hours a week in the Foundation offices working to implement the Foundation’s mission. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded more than $3 million in scholarships to 2,155 South St. Paul High School seniors.

Bernie St. Peter Bernie St. Peter (Aug. 16, 1926-Oct. 28, 2011) was inducted into the Hall of Excellence in 1991. He came to South St. Paul from Plaza, North Dakota, with his parents when he was four years old. He attended South St. Paul schools until enrolling in Cretin High School. St. Peter enrolled at St. Thomas College in St. Paul after serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He graduated in 1951 and found a professional career with the Toni Company, now known as Gillette Company. His local impact really began when he was elected to the South St. Paul School Board in 1954. He served for 16 years on the board before retiring. It was then that he served as chair of a research and development task force, which

Jerry Reynolds Jerry Reynolds (Aug. 31,1930-Oct. 8, 2011) was honored as a Hall of Excellence inductee in 1995. He came to South St. Paul as the adopted son of Ethel and Alvah Reynolds. Reynolds graduated from South St. Paul High School in 1948 and from the University of Minnesota in 1958, with a degree in Elementary Education. He worked for four years to earn money for college and spent two years in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. After two

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Tom Kaliszewski Tom Kaliszewski (June 24, 1928-Oct. 26, 2011) was inducted into the Hall of Excellence in 1995. He was born in South St. Paul, where his father worked at Swift & Company as a millwright. From the time he was a young boy, he helped with hauling livestock and doing other odd jobs around town. After graduating from South St. Paul High School in 1946, Kaliszewski worked full time in the stockyards until serving in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1951-52. He attended the University of Minnesota while working at Central Livestock, where he was employed as a mail boy during his high school years. Kaliszewski moved into the role of cow salesman, and in 1956 was promoted to head of the calf department, becoming head cow salesman in 1960. During his career,

he sold over three million cows, more than anyone else in any recorded yard market in the world. He retired in 1994. Kaliszewski’s impact on the professionalism of the market, his work as an agricultural ambassador and his promotion of the livestock industry was remarkable. These three men knew each other, although they came from very different backgrounds and were involved in different careers. The roster of local, regional and statewide organizations with which they were involved and the list of accomplishments they achieved are too extensive to be included in this brief story. Each one, however, was a strong proponent of the importance of education, the role of community involvement and the impact of business success on the community of South St. Paul. They will be missed.

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years teaching at Oakdale School in West St. Paul, he became a teacher of 5th and 6th grades at Washington School in South St. Paul in 1960, a position he held for 30 years. In addition to his work in the classroom, Reynolds loved the theater and performed in many community productions. After retiring, he volunteered his time to conduct history tours of the city for new teachers and potential students, served as co-chair of the South St. Paul Educational Foundation Walk-A-Thon for several years and was involved with International Ringette as announcer for the tournament held in South St. Paul in 1994. Beginning in the mid-1980s he began to write personal postcards and letters to 60-70 people around the country, focusing his greetings on the elderly, the ill and those who had experienced loss. In 2011, Reynolds was honored by the South St. Paul/ Inver Grove Heights Rotary

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Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer 2012 LGA Funds $832,000,.down.$416,039. or.33.percent 2012 Property Taxes. $8,352,760,.up.+. $472,627.or.6...