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June 2010 Volume 7 Number 6

• • • • •

News Briefs.. ............................... Page 6 Sample St. Paul........................... Page 8 River Connections.. ..................... Page 9 Community Columns................ Page 10 History.. ................................... Page 12

Citizens work for Yellow Ribbon status to support military families Page 4

Grey Cloud Dunes offer rare nature experience along the river Page 9

Summer in the City Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


t last, summer is finally here. Basically, we have the next 12 weeks to enjoy the warm summer sun and all that comes with it, including outdoor music, movies, dance and dining. Here’s our annual guide to help you make the most of it. Reserve Wednesday nights for summertime fun in South St. Paul. Beginning June 30 and running through August

25, the South St. Paul Mayor’s Youth Task Force will host Wednesday evening events as part of its “Finding Things to Do in South St. Paul” campaign. A $5,000 Community Arts Grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council will be used to bring a lineup of musicians to perform at 6:30 p.m. at Central Square Community Center. In July, performances will be followed by “under the stars” swimming parties, and in August

outdoor movies in the park. Here’s the line-up: • Sounds of South St. Paul at Central Square Community Center, 100 – 7th Ave. N. • June 30 - Miguel Sevillano Group • July 7 - Inver Hills Community Band • July 14 - Cyril Paul and the Calypso Monarchs • July 21 - Biljan Tamuritzan Orkestar • Aug. 4 - Los Alegres Baliadores Dancers • Aug. 11 - Steven Mat-

Your guide on how to celebrate summer locally ier of Different Drums of Ireland • Swimming Under the Stars at Northview Pool, 19th and Thompson Avenues, 8 -10 p.m. July 7, 14, 21, 28. Entrance fee is $2. (Pool swimming pass is not valid for these parties). • Movies in the Park at Central Square Community Center’s Amphitheatre, 100 – 7th Ave. N., August 4, 11, 18, 25. South St. Paul Parks

Summer Event Guide

Page 2

The House on the Hill Page 12

S ummer Event Guide and Recreation will partner with the Mayor’s Youth Task Force to host four weeks of outdoor family friendly movies, beginning at dusk. Films to be announced.

Kaposia Days

Your community news and information source

more details visit www.

Sept. 1, at Central Park at 7th and Marie.

Dakota County Fair

Hiking and Biking

Highlights of the Dakota County Fair, held Aug. 9-15, include motocross, a demolition derby, carnival rides, tractor pulls, a 4-H livestock auction, rodeo, and live entertainment. Tickets are  available starting July 19, at the Dakota County Fair box office in Ahlberg Hall on the fairgrounds. Special days and rates are offered for kids, seniors and military personnel. The fairgrounds are located at 4008 220th St. W., Farmington. For more information, visit www.dakotacountryfair. org. or call 651-4638818.

Clear the calendar for the weekend of June 2527 for Kaposia Days. South St. Paul’s summertime celebration features over 40 fun-filled activities, including parades, a Queen coronation, musical entertainment, sporting events and fireworks. Look for the Mayor’s Annual Food Drive during the parade on June 25. With shopping carts rolling along behind the mayor’s float, members of the South St. Paul Youth Task Force will collect food and cash South St. Paul donations along the pa- Farmers’ Market rade route. The All City Bounty at the FarmGarage Sale will be held ers’ Market: it’s deliAd for SSP Voice:Ad for SSP Voicedates 10/30/09 2:24 PMnutritious Page 1 June 24-26 (new cious, and this year) in conjunction locally grown. The marwith Kaposia Days. For ket is open 3-6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, June 23-

• South St. Paul Riverfront Trail -This scenic trail offers over four miles of paved pathway along the Mississippi River. Access it at Concord Street near Grand Avenue or near Bryant and Butler Avenue. • Kaposia Park, 1028 Wilde Ave., South St. Paul - Hiking trails meander through a forested and hilly 85-acre park. The park also features an enclosed log pavilion, picnic shelter, horseshoe pits, sand volleyball, a playground area and tennis courts. • Thompson Park, 1200 Stassen Lane, West St. Paul. This 57-acre park features a large picnic area overlooking Thompson Lake, a playground, and miles of wooded trails that connect to the North Urban Regional Trail, a trail system that links Thomp-


South St. Paul’s two outdoor pools open June 12. son Park to Kaposia Park in South St. Paul and to the Mississippi River Regional Trail. The Dakota Lodge, a four-season event center, is also located in the park. • Big Rivers Regional Trail, Mendota Heights Road, near Highway 13 and I-35E. Located on the northern edge of Dakota County, the Big Rivers Regional Trail offers nearly four miles of

hiking and biking trails on the railroad bed of the former Minnesota Central Railroad line. • Harriet Island Regional Park - Bike and hike along eight miles of trail on both sides of the river (users can connect to the Big Rivers Trail by following Lilydale Road for 3/4-mile). The northern side of the trail can be reached by crossing the Wabasha Bridge.

Here the trail is separated for bike and pedestrian traffic. • Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary - Located within walking distance of downtown St. Paul, along the Mississippi, the sanctuary features interpretive signage and a walking path that takes hikers past sandstone bluffs, caves and natural springs. A trail extension connects the Nature


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Page 2 - South St. Paul Voice - June 2010

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S ummer Event Guide

Your community news and information source ern border. The cities of South St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights have teamed up to maintain this park,

Dog Park

Take-A-Kid Fishing weekend is June 11-13. Adults can fish for free on these days when accompanied by a child age 15 and under. Sanctuary, Swede Hollow Park and Mounds Park to one another.

Picnic in the Parks

South St. Paul has parks throughout the city to enjoy picnics, sports and much more.. • Lorraine Park, 756 3rd Ave. S., is home to the splash pool, which features interactive water toys and zero-depth entry. In addition, it has a picnic shelter, horseshoe pits, sand volleyball and a large play structure. • Northview Park, 635 18th Ave. N., is the site of one of the city’s two

playground, tennis courts and picnic area. • Veterans Field, 1400 3rd St. N., has a large playground, restroom/ concession building and softball/baseball fields. • Seidl’s Lake Park, 4th St. S., is a prime fishing spot. It also offers a paved trail along the east-

outdoor pools. It also has a playground. • Grandview Park, 350 Grand Ave. W., lives up to its name. Located on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi river, visitors are treated to a spectacular view. A small playground is also available. • McMorrow Fields, 200 South St. E., has several softball and soccer fields, a concession/ restroom building, picnic shelter, large playground and three tennis courts. • Harmon Park, 1310 Henry Ave., features a

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Kaposia Landing OffLeash Area, 800 Bryant Ave., is a 6.3 acre dog park that features a fenced perimeter, bull pen entry and exit area, two shelters with picnic tables, Mutt Mitt waste disposal stations, trash containers and an information/bulletin board kiosk. Dog park users are required to purchase a $20 yearly membership, and member IDs must be worn. Membership forms are available at or at the Parks and Recreation Office at Central Square Community Center, 100-7th Ave. N., and at City Hall.

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C ommunity Citizens work for Yellow Ribbon status to support military families Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


movement for veterans and their families is gaining momentum in Minnesota, and a group of South St. Paul citizens is working hard to bring the prize home to their city — a “Yellow Ribbon” designation by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. To achieve Yellow Ribbon status, a committee of South St. Paul residents are putting together a detailed action plan designed to educate business owners, police and fire personnel, school district employees and congregations throughout the city on the unique challenges facing military families when a family member is away on active duty, and the challenges that can

occur when they return and adjust once again to civilian life. Also in the action plan are steps the community will take to provide services for veterans and their families to meet those challenges. Yellow Ribbon is all about educating, networking and support, funded by donations of time and money, according to city council member Marilyn Rothecker, who has spearheaded the campaign for the city’s Yellow Ribbon status. The program was started in response to the realization of military leaders that their service personnel perform better when they know their loved ones are being taken care of back home. The possibilities seem endless for opportunities available to help military families.

For example, a parent whose spouse is overseas and needs a break to get to a doctor’s appointment may receive free respite daycare from a trained provider. A family in need of assistance, say shoveling the driveway in winter, will be matched with a volunteer. “Things are progressing well,” said Rothecker. “Kaposia School has a Veterans Day program, where they invite all the vets. We want to build on that. Luther Memorial Church, led by Roger Schwagmeyer, has organized a Heroes Wall and a mailing campaign. We are having a Beyond the Yellow Ribbon 5K/10K Run and Walk on June 13. Part of the problem in South St. Paul is that we do not have an armory, but we do have a

Your community news and information source

South St. Paul Mayor Beth Baumann discusses the particulars of the Yellow Ribbon program with Lt. Col Barb O’Reilly. lot of military families. We look to Inver Grove Heights and West St. Paul, which do have armories, and other communities are joining in. Networking within the county is just starting.” To achieve maximum benefit coordination of efforts is crucial. When events are planned for families, they are posted

on the internet and carried across the state and beyond. One of Rothecker’s challenges is keeping the local calendar updated on all the fundraisers, picnics and special events that await military personnel and their families The program is an offshoot of “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon,” a national military reintegra-

tion program begun by the Minnesota National Guard, but geared toward all military branches. Through the program, soldiers’ support services come primarily from military agencies. But what about community support? Unless a returning veteran is living on an active military base where thousands of military

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C ommunity families reside, community support does not come naturally. Minnesota has no active military base and, not surprisingly the result has been that the greater community has not been fully aware of the challenges faced by military families. “We are the ‘newest on the block,’ to go for the designation,” said Rothecker, who pointed out that Hastings and Farmington, also in Dakota County, already have Yellow Ribbon status. Farmington was the first in the state, achieving the status in 2008. Interest throughout the state is high. Cities, towns, faith communi-

Your community news and information source ties, college campuses, businesses and counties, including Dakota, are all taking steps to receive Yellow Ribbon status. Yellow Ribbon activists hope that every city and township in Minnesota will achieve designation. The South St. Paul plan will be presented to the National Guard, which must approve it before it is sent to the governor. Rothecker hopes the city will earn Yellow Ribbon designation within a year The South St. Paul Yellow Ribbon committee meets the fourth Thursday of every month at City Hall. Everyone is welcome, including high school students.

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1560 Livingston Ave., Suite 102, West St.Paul 450-9373 • Midwest Fabrics 1226 S. Concord 451-6289 • ABC Rentals 460 E. Villaume 451-2264 • South St. Paul Healthy Youth Coalition Working together to prevent underage drinking in South St. Paul by linking family, school and community for healthy youth.


Mike McPhillips, Inc. 825 Concord St. N. 651-451-4030 • Thompson Trucks and Parts, Inc. 316 Malden St. 455-9300 • Al's Corral Bar & Grill 440 S. Concord Exchange 451-1000 • (7th and Southview) South St. Paul Voice 455-4909 Your Community News • & Information Source Captive Images 457/1177 Hair Salon • 1003 Southview Blvd. 451-1516 Drum Corps Show • Aug 22, SSP HS Deering & Sons Sponsored by: Auto Body Roadware, Inc 1449 S. Concord 455-5089 Central Bank 835 Southview Blvd. 451-2133 • Marie Ave. Service and Glass 103 5th Ave. N. 451-0911 • Southview Acupuncture Clinic 625 Southview Blvd.

June 4 .................................................................. Citizens Arrest June 5 .................................................The Sensational 60s Band June 11 ................................................ The Big Twang (Country) June 12 ............................................. High Brow and the Shades June 15 ..................................River City Jazz Orchestra, 7-10 pm June 18 .......................................................Iron Horse (Country) June 19 ...................Roy Dawson and the Bootleggers (Country) June 25 .........................................................................Fire Rose June 26 ......Jonah and the Whales (outside), Dixie Hicks (inside) .......................................................................................$5 cover

Kaposia Days Events - Sat., June 26

$5 cover. includes... PWA Pro Wrestling - Starts at 2 p.m. Street Dance with Jonah and the Whales 8 pm-midnight

Food & Drink Specials Lunch Special - 75¢ Corn Dogs, $1 small domestic tap beer, 11 am-2 pm Sundays - Open mic and Jam session, 6-10 pm. Build your own Bloodys @ Happy Hour prices, 10-2 pm., open until 10 pm Mon - Fri - Happy hour, 4-6 pm Mon - Chicken wing night, 4-9 pm, 5 for $2, no take-outs Tues - $1.50 Burger Night; 2nd Tuesday Turtle Lake Casino Trip, 9 am, $5, get two free drinks upon return from casino, Fourth Tuesday of each month is Comedy Nite, featuring Dennis Carney & his comedy troupe, 7:30-9 pm, Free Wed - Bar and Mega Bingo, 7 pm start Wed & Thur - 7" Coney Night, 2 for $5, biggest & tastiest Thurs - Karaoke, 8-close; Ladies Night, $2 drinks and beers for the ladies, 9-close, $1 Jello shots Fri - Live music 9 pm-1 am, open until 2 am, Bomb specials, starting at $3, 10 pm-midnight Sat - Mega Tacos $3 and meat raffle,noon-4 pm, open until 2 am Burger Kitchen - open Mon-Sat, 4-10 pm Hall rental & special packages available for fundraisers. South St. Paul Voice - June 2010 - Page 5

N ews Briefs Community Garden Tour

The South St. Paul Garden Club will host a Community Garden Tour 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun., June 27. Participants will have the opportunity to visit 10 to 12 private gardens in the area and talk with gardeners about their techniques. Garden Club members will also be in each garden to assist tour participants. Advance tickets are $5 and may be obtained by contacting Lois Glewwe at 651-457-3403 or Tickets will be on sale for $8 the day of the event at 2101 Wentworth Ave., South St. Paul, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Gardeners who would like to apply to have their garden on the tour are encouraged to contact Glewwe or visit for a 2010 Garden Tour Application. Gardens are chosen based on creativity of design, quality of plantings, overall appearance and

Your community news and information source use of unique artwork or foliage. Gardens in South St. Paul, West St. Paul, Inver Grove Heights, Mendota Heights and the West Side of St. Paul are eligible for the tour. The selection committee will visit the gardens in early June to determine which will appear on the tour.

Library happenings The South St. Paul library will offer many free programs all summer for all ages. All programs are free. Registration begins the week of June 7. For more information on the following library events, call 651-554-3240 or visit library. • Book Discussions Book discussion groups will be reading “Mountains Beyond Mountains” by Tracy Kidder in June. This book focuses on Dr. Paul Farmer, an infectious disease specialist who is passionate about the correlation between disease and poverty. In his unconventional way,

Farmer has achieved what many others could not — making this world a better place — with the spotlight on Haiti. The afternoon discussion is slated for 1 p.m., Wed., June 16; the evening discussion will be held at 7 p.m., Thurs., June 17. Author information packets are at the library’s front desk or at www., under Library, Adult Book Discussions. For more information, call Kathy at 651-554-3243. • Teen Book Club “The Princess Bride” by Libba Bray will be discussed at 4 p.m., Fri., June 4. This club is for teens ages 12-18. Refreshments will be provided. • Teen Summer Reading Club (ages 12-18) - “Make Waves @ Your Library” this summer by joining the Teen Summer Reading Club. Participants will receive weekly prizes and enter drawings for bigger prizes just for reading. Sign up for

fun activities like Duck, Duck, Duct Tape, Twrecks, Wii Drop-in Day and Beach Blanket Bingo. Registration is June 14-18. • Children ages 3-10 may begin signing up for the Summer Reading Club on June 7. Help your students enter school next fall ready to learn by encouraging them to continue reading over the summer. Participants will earn prizes and incentives to keep them excited about reading. Each child who reads for five hours and brings their reading record to the library will be invited to attend the Summer Reading Club party in August. • The library will present a special performance, “Tra Ti Ti Tran Tran Toro” by Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre at 1 p.m., June 11. They’ll delight the entire family through song, dance and puppetry. • Staff from the Como Zoo will visit at 10:30

a.m., June 15 with the show, “Splashy Flashy Frogs.” All ages are invited for this 30-45 minute performance, which dives into the fascinating (and sometimes noisy) world of frogs. • Children ages 7-10 may join artists from Leonardo’s Basement and build their own Water Bottle Rocket at 1 p.m., June 16. Space is limited, so preregister by contacting the library. • Kids and teens aged 10-18 may join artists from Leonardo’s Basement, 2 p.m., June 17, for the first of a twosession workshop to learn the A.R.T. (assertive ripping technique) of creating with duct tape. The second part of the workshop will be at 2 p.m., July 1. Space is limited for this program, so preregister by contacting the library. • Children and their families are invited to a special storytime, 6:30 p.m., Mon,, June 21. Miss South St. Paul can-

didates will share stories and we’ll vote for our favorites. • South St. Paul’s Summer Playhouse will present “Nate the Great,” 10:30 a.m., Wed., June 23. All ages are welcome to attend. • Capt’n Curley and entertainers from A Touch Of Magic will perform “Treasure Beyond Measure,” a comedic pirate show, 10:30 a.m., June 24. • Children ages 7 and up are encouraged to preregister for an Acting Games workshop presented at 1 p.m., June 24, by The Guthrie Theater. • Youth ages 9-11 can join artists from Leonardo’s Basement at 1 p.m., June 25 for a hands-on program, “Robot Clocks that Rock,” to create a robot clock sculpture from everyday items. Space is limited, so preregister by contacting the library. Children ages 5 and under and their caregiv-

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N ews Briefs ers are invited to join MacPhail Center for Music’s early childhood music specialists at 10:30 a.m., June 29 to explore the magic of music and play.

Kaposia Park Disc Golf Course

The Kaposia Park Disc Golf Course, located within Kaposia Park (entrance off of Butler and Wilde Avenues in South St. Paul), is one of the busiest in the metro area. It features 18 holes throughout picturesque and wooded areas of the park. The course now operates on a “pay to play” format. Users will need to purchase an annual pass (bag tag) for $30. Passes can be purchased at the Parks and Recreation Department, 100 - 7th Ave. N. In addition, the City will soon be enhancing disc golf services, including annual and daily pass sales and retail at Kaposia Park. Visit for updated information.

Your community news and information source

Summer Playhouse Presents “Nate the Great”

South St. Paul Parks and Recreation invites everyone to come and enjoy free entertainment performed by the Summer Playhouse troupe. South St. Paul locations, dates and times are: Tuesdays, June 15, 22, 29, July 6, 13, 20, 27: • 11 a.m., Miracle Center (former Jefferson School, 125-21st Ave. S.) • 1:30 p.m., Veterans Field (3rd Street and 13th Avenue N.) • Wednesdays, June 16, 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21, 28) • 10:30 a.m., South St. Paul Library (Marie and 3rd Avenue) • 1 p.m., Lorraine Park (3rd Avenue and 7th Street S.) • 2:30 p.m., Kaposia Center (1st Avenue S. and Dale Street) Thursdays, June 17, 24, July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 • 9:30 a.m., Lincoln Center (4th Street parking lot)

• 11 a.m., Summit Park (15th Avenue N. and Pleasant Avenue) • 1:30 p.m., Northview Park (19th Avenue N. and Thompson Avenue)

Fare for All Express

Fare For All Express will be held 4-6 p.m., June 1, July 6, Aug. 3 and Aug. 31 at Central Square Community Center, 100 7 th Ave. N. Fare for All Express is a program of the Emergency Foodshelf Network that partners with organizations 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 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 income-based requirements for participation. Participation does not affect eligibility to receive assistance from the foodshelf. For more information, call 651-306-3690.

Girl Scout Troop earns Silver Award

South St. Paul Girl Scout Troop 50279 recently earned a Silver Award for planting flower containers on Marie and Southview boulevards. Each troop member helped raise funds, selected flowers and coordinated maintenance efforts for the project. The Silver Award Project requires 40 hours of planning and facilitating a community project. For more information, contact Deb Griffith, community affairs liaison, at or 651-5543230.

Highground Memorial

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 639 of South St. Paul is seeking cash and merchandise donations for its fundraiser, which will be held 2-5:30 p.m., Sat., Oct. 16, at Bugg’s Place, 925 N. Concord Exchange. The event will feature food, a silent auction, pull tabs and more. Proceeds will benefit the Highground Memorial, which honors veterans of all wars. For more information, contact John Lynch at 651459-1310 or lynch0319@

SSP Blooming Parks program seeks volunteers

The city of South St. Paul is looking for volunteers to take care of over 20 flower beds throughout the community. Volunteers select plants for a site and then plant, weed and water during the summer. The City supplies the flowers. For more information, con-

tact Deb Griffith, community affairs liaison, at 651-554-3230 or deb.

Pool passes

Summer season passes are on sale for South St. Paul’s two outdoor pools (Splash Pool at Lorraine Park and Northview Pool). The pools will be open June 12-Aug. 22. Season passes for South St. Paul residents are $32 for the first pass in a household, and $21 for each additional pass; non-residents may purchase a season pass for $42, and additional passes within the household are $31 each. Daily admission fee for the pools is $3.50. Daily admission coupon books are also available for purchase. Season passes and coupon books are sold at the Parks and Recreation Department at the Central Square Community Center, 100 – 7 th Ave. N. For more information, call 651-306-3690 or visit


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South St. Paul Voice - June 2010 - Page 7

S ample St. Paul Ordway Center for Performing Arts The 10 th annual International Children’s Festival is featured June 5-6 at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts, 35 Washington St., St. Paul. For more information, call 651-224-4222 or visit festival.

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 June 2. Tickets are $20. The History Theater is located at 30 E. Tenth St., St. Paul. For more information, call the box office at 651-292-4323.

Children’s Museum “The Wizard of Oz,” the first officially li-

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censed and sanctioned traveling educational exhibit based on the beloved film classic, is featured June 12-Sept. 12. Visitors will journey through child-size reproductions of memorable sets from the movie, such as the colorful Land of Oz, the Witch’s Castle, and Emerald City. Tickets are $8.95. The museum is located at 10 W. Seventh St., St. Paul. For more information, call 651-225-6000.

Xcel Energy Center

Sting, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, will perform at 8 p.m., Mon., June 21. Tickets are $53$178. Legendary rock band Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, with special guest Drive-By Truckers, will perform at 7:30 p.m., Tues., June 22. Tickets are $51.50$127. Carlos Santana and the Santana Band, along with special guest Steve

Winwood, will perform at 7:30 p.m., Wed., June 30. Tickets are $22.50$125.50. The Xcel Center is located at 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. For more information, visit www.

Park Square Theatre “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily” is presented June 4-July 3. During a small matter of blackmail and missing jewels, Watson pines for Lily Langtry, Holmes chases the infernal Moriarty, and Oscar Wilde gets some of his best lines. The wit and wisdom of Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle and even William Shakespeare combine to offer up a delightful escapade that includes seduction and secrets, lies and lilies, mistresses and mayhem. Tickets are $36-$40 for adults, $31-$35 for seniors and $15 for age 30 and under. The theater is located at, 20 W.


Spectacle Shoppe now has five locations The Spectacle Shoppe has long been known for its fun, funky, vintage and one-of-a-kind eyewear. But the Spectacle Shoppe also has one of the largest collections of traditional, contemporary and designer frames. Owner David Ulrich travels the globe to hand pick the most fashion-forward styles and presents his collection in a unique and exciting retail environment. After 41 years in business, Ulrich and the Spectacle Shoppe team pride themselves in providing a superior level of service to each and every guest. Unlike the Big Box stores offering only a few hundred frames, the Spectacle Shoppe collection tops 30,000. “Most of the big optical chains offer the same frames as their competition. While we carry those brands, too, we know how important individuality is to everyone,” said Ulrich. The Spectacle Shoppe also offers frame lines that are exclusive to the Spectacle Shoppe, including two lines designed by Ulrich himself: Studebaker and Eight Below Zero. Did you know that if you wear glasses, it is most often the first thing people notice about you? “When shopping for the right frame it is so important to have professional opticians and experienced stylists assist you rather than “associates” in lab coats,” said Ulrich. The Spectacle Shoppe is not only dedicated to service and style, they also support the communities in which they Page 8 - South St. Paul Voice - June 2010

operate – and beyond! The Spectacle Shoppe supports dozens of charitable organizations, foundations and local school districts, giving tens of thousands of dollars in goods and services each year. Currently, the Spectacle Shoppe is collecting unwanted prescription eyewear, which they will clean and deliver to Haiti and other areas in desperate need of free eyewear. For each pair of prescription glasses dropped off, the Spectacle Shoppe will give a $175 gift certificate to be used on a new pair of prescription eyewear. The “Help Haiti, Help Yourself” program has collected over 1000 frames to date. In its 41 years of operation, the Spectacle Shoppe has grown to five metro locations. The newest store, located in Rogers, is quickly becoming THE place for frame fashion in the Northwest. Downtowners have the opportunity to visit the first Spectacle Shoppe boutique in the St. Paul skyway system. Located in the Lowry building, this unique shoppe also boasts a beautiful mini-gallery of artwork by Minnesota’s own Bill Mack. Art for your walls. Art for your face. Most locations are open seven days a week and offer eye exams by appointment. For more information, special offers and a printable gift certificate, visit www.specatcleshoppe. biz.

“The Wizard of Oz,” the first officially licensed and sanctioned traveling educational exhibit based on the beloved film classic, is featured June 12-Sept. 12 at the Children’s Museum of Minnesota. 7th Place., St. Paul. For more information, call 651-291-7005.

Science Museum of Minnesota “Dead Sea Scrolls: Words That Changed the World.” This exhibit, featured through Oct. 24, offers a rare opportunity to witness one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century. The Dead Sea Scrolls include the earliest known Biblical writings. The 2,000-year-old, authentic text fragments are steeped in scientific, religious and cultural significance. Complementing the exhibit is “Arabia,” showing in the Omnitheater. This film offers a look at Arabia’s culture, history and religion. Tickets are $28 for adults and $22 for children ages 4-12 and seniors age 60 and older, or $34 and $28 respectively with admission to the Omnitheater. The Science Museum is located at 120 W. Kellogg Blvd. For more information, visit, or call 651-221-9444.

History Center “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” is presented through July 4 at the Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd.

You know about Benjamin Franklin’s famous experiment with a kite, a key and some lightning, but did you also know about his rebellious youth? That he pioneered wind surfing and invented swim fins? That he helped found the nation’s first hospital, was an environmentalist and charted the Gulf Stream to assist in ocean travel? In many ways Benjamin Franklin is the founding father nobody knows – misunderstood because of the sheer breadth and diversity of his accomplishments. Discover the many ways Franklin has affected our world today in the new exhibit. “Minnesota’s Greatest Generation: The Depression, The War, The Boom” - This exhibit features more than 6,000 square feet of artifacts, interactive displays and innovative multimedia experiences that reveal the lives and stories of the men and women who came of age during the Depression and World War II, and who went on to create the phenomenal postwar boom. The exhibition features first-person narratives in recorded interviews, images, film and audio. “MN 150”- Meet 150 people, places, events and things that have sparked

significant change within Minnesota and beyond. 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 651-2593000 or visit www.mnhs. org.

Artists’ Quarter

The Artists’ Quarter, located in the Historic Hamm Building at 7th Place and St. Peter in downtown St. Paul, offers live entertainment throughout the month, including jazz bands, poetry nights and the popular B-3 organ night, held at 9 p.m. every Tuesday. For a complete schedule of events, call 651-2921359 or visit

Senior Jazz Band

“POPS” Montgomery’s Senior Jazz Band of Minnesota will perform at 7 p.m., Fri., June 11 at the Landmark Center, 75 W. Fifth St., St. Paul. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for seniors and children. For more information, call 651-788-7196 or visit

R iver Connections Toes in the Sand

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Grey Cloud Dunes offer rare nature experience along the river Tim Spitzack Editor


hen I read about 20-foot dunes rising over 100 feet above the Mississippi River, my curiosity was piqued, so I took the short drive down the Great River Road (Highway 61) to Cottage Grove to have a look. After meandering my way through a residential neighborhood, I found a diminutive, primitive parking area near Hadley Avenue and 103 rd Street. It was there that my adventure began to see the Grey Cloud Dunes. The dunes are located within the Grey Cloud Dunes Scientific and Natural Area (SNA), which is managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). In 1998, The DNR acquired the 237acre property from Ashland, Inc. in a land swap. In lieu of paying the large fine for environmental violations, the corporate suits at Ashland worked out a deal to pay its fine with land rather than cash. Undoubtedly, they thought it was a great deal because the land is hilly, sandy, forested and swampy, making it less than ideal for development. However, the DNR was more than happy to oblige because the agency was able to acquire a significant natural treasure to preserve for future generations. The area is indeed wild and scenic. The trail from the parking area resembles a deer trail more than a walking path, and it quickly leads you into the heart of a deciduous forest of elms, silver maples, cottonwoods and box elders. It reminds me more of the forested trails I hiked as a boy before our state and federal agencies started making hiking trails so large that they can accommodate an SUV. There are no maps at the trailhead and no trail markers along the way, so hikers must choose their route carefully, which can at times be difficult since there

are many spurs off the path. I chose to follow the trail around what appeared to be the perimeter of the parkland. It wound its way through dense forest, a grassy prairie and a small wetland, through a concrete tunnel underneath a railroad track, and finally to the river itself. There are yellow SNA signs along the perimeter to keep one from venturing onto private property, and a few that inform what can and cannot be done on the state-owned land. Essentially, all you can do is hike and view birds, wildlife, wildflowers and spectacular scenery. One may not collect plants, animals, rocks or fossils, camp, picnic, swim, hunt, trap or fish, nor may one bring horses, pets or motorized vehicles on the land. These restrictions allow the fragile and rare ecosystems to remain intact and healthy, and allow visitors to see the land as it was before the pioneers arrived. The sign also encourages users to walk lightly to not damage the land, which was sometimes challenging since the trail would simply disappear. I found myself back-tracking more than once to find the right path. Once in the heart of the park, it’s easy to get lost in the beauty of the surroundings. The melodic choruses of native songbirds fill the air and gentle breezes whisper through the prairie grasses and tickle the leaves, rustling them softly. Overheard I saw two bald eagles soaring on the air streams, and on the trail I saw squirrels and wild turkeys. I also startled a large white-tail doe, or more accurately, she startled me. After hiking for more than a half-hour, I was beginning to wonder where the dunes were, but I remained on what appeared to be the most traveled trail as it climbed above the river.

The path began to get sandy, which added difficulty to the assent. At the top, I found myself surrounded by this rare ecological environment. The dunes consist of two sandy terraces. The first is 40-60 feet above the river and the second is over 100 feet above the river. According to the DNR, these terraces mark the height of the river during the time the glaciers were melting and retreating. Plants unique to Minnesota thrive on the dunes, including silky prairie clover, rare sea-beach needlegrass, purple sand grass and long bearded hawkgrass. From this vantage point, one can see a sweeping view of the river valley and Grey Cloud Island, which is named after a Dakota woman, MAHPE-YAHO-TA or Grey Cloud, who lived in the area in the nineteenth century. The outing proved to be a truly enjoyable experience. I liked the fact that the park was chal-

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The Grey Cloud Dunes consist of two sandy terraces. The first is 40-60 feet above the river and the second is over 100 feet above the river. lenging to navigate. It was fun getting lost, both off the trail and in my thoughts.

If you go:

Trailhead: Located near Hadley Avenue and 103 rd Street in Cottage

Grove. Follow Highway 61 South to the 80 th Street Exit. Take a right at the stop light and an immediate left on Hadley. Follow Hadley to the trailhead. Footwear: Wear good

footwear and long pants because the trails are narrow and travel through heavily forested areas. Also, bring bug and tick repellant and plenty of water. Allow at least an hour to enjoy the park.

Advertising Representative The St. Paul Publishing Company, publisher of the St. Paul Voice, Downtown St. Paul Voice, South St. Paul Voice and La Voz Latina, is looking for an energetic, creative person to join our team as an advertising representative. Full- or part-time position available. Duties: The primary duty of the advertising representative is to present the benefits of our newspapers to area businesses through telephone calls and face-to-face meetings. Establishing a good relationship with our clients and prospective clients is extremely important, as is providing superior customer service. An encapsulated view of a typical day includes: prospecting, making phone calls to qualify leads and set appointments, meeting clients at their place of business, presenting ideas to the client for effective, timely ads, asking questions to verify/derive information for the ad, writing/designing the ad and turning it into production, filling out insertion order/billing paperwork, proofing finished ad from production and sending a proof to the client for approval prior to publication. Qualifications: The qualified candidate for this position should have a degree in business, communications or marketing, a valid Minnesota driver’s license, reliable transportation and be computer literate. He/she must also have excellent verbal and written communication skills (bilingual English/Spanish preferred), be upbeat, friendly, positive, outgoing, optimistic, creative and aggressive. He/she must also have a professional appearance and demeanor and possess an extremely strong work ethic. Also, this position requires high organizational skills and the ability to work under minimum supervision, as well as the ability to meet deadlines. Must have at least two years successful sales experience. Compensation: Guaranteed base pay plus generous commission and incentives. Reimbursement for mileage, parking and other company related expenses. Two weeks vacation first year, Simple IRA retirement plan, comfortable working environment and dedicated sales support. For consideration, email your cover letter and resume to: Tim Spitzack, publisher, St. Paul Publishing Co., 1643 S. Robert St., Ste. 60B, West St. Paul, MN 55118. EOE

South St. Paul Voice - June 2010 - Page 9

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even in a suburb. There are just too many people and there is too much going on to allow the “village” to participate in our lives. So I’m pleasantly surprised when I see evidence that this spirit of caring that so permeated the village I was raised in is alive and well here in northern Dakota County. Here are some examples. Early in April, First Presbyterian Church in South St. Paul organized and put on a choir concert, open to the public, with an offering that would be taken and given to Neighbors. They invit-

Your community news and information source ed musical groups from several different congregations in the area to participate, and they were kind enough to ask me to come and speak to those who gathered for this special afternoon. It was a wonderful program and even though it had been pulled together in a bit of a hurry, and was held on Palm Sunday, the folks in attendance that afternoon dug deep into their pocketbooks and made a most generous contribution to support the work at Neighbors. At the same time this was happening, we were just concluding Minnesota FoodShare Month, and here at Neighbors we had the fifth most successful FoodShare program in the state. Again, due to the kindness, caring and generosity of the people in northern Dakota County. A couple of weeks later, Geritt Lemain, founder and director of the Woodbury Chorus and Orchestra and his choir at St. Stephen’s Lutheran

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Church in West St. Paul put on a benefit concert for Neighbors, and it was the most successful single concert from a fundraising perspective that they had done in the 26 years of the group’s existence. I’m not done yet. On Mother’s Day weekend, the Postal Employees Union conducted its annual food drive to support local food shelves, and on Saturday they delivered over 45,000 pounds of food to Neighbors. As an aside, did you know that Neighbors may be the only local food shelf in the state, perhaps in the country, that receives the results of the Postal Employees’ drive direct-

ly? That’s because the wonderful people who belong to this union’s locals in the South St. Paul/ Inver Grove Heights and West St. Paul/Mendota Heights areas insist that they deliver the food they collect directly to Neighbors instead of to Second Harvest. Thank you Postal Employees! These are all wonderful examples of a “village” taking care of the “villagers.” Working at Neighbors, as a staff person or a volunteer, can be a real emotional roller coaster. In any given day you will go from hearing some of the saddest stories imaginable to experiencing moments of joy when

LETTER TO THE EDITOR Thank you, volunteers

Thank you to all of the volunteers who came out on a breezy Saturday morning to help beautify the banks of the Mississippi River and Lorraine and Kaposia Parks. Even with being a re-scheduled date, close to 100 volunteers registered and assisted with the beautification project. We removed many, many bags of garbage along the river banks and the parks. On one of many bright spots of the morning, both Lorraine and

Kaposia Parks were reported to be the cleanest in many years – thank you residents! In addition, thank you to Union Pacific Railroad, the Coop, Black Sheep Coffee Café, Sanimax, Sportsman’s Guide, and the Mayor’s Youth Task Force for partnering with the City to make this one of the best river and park cleanups. See you next year. Deb Griffith Community Affairs Liaison for the City of South St. Paul

Jennifer L. Gale, president

Take Me Out to the Ball Game; Take Me Out With the Crowd! Page 10 - South St. Paul Voice - June 2010

someone or some group does an unanticipated act of kindness that brings tears to your eyes. And when we go home at night, we go with the certain knowledge that at least once that day, and probably many times, we were able to take the acts of kindness and generosity that many people in our community perform every day and use them to help someone else in our community. Truly, a “village” taking care of the “villagers.” Thank you, everyone who has helped in any way. You make this community a wonderful place to live and work.

Yes, it’s baseball season in Minnesota again, and we’ve got a new stadium to see and experience. Take advantage of that with the “River Heights Twins Night.” After some major event renovations, the 27 th annual River Heights Twins Night, presented by Waterous Company, will be Tues., June 15, when the Minnesota Twins face the Colorado Rockies. The game is sold out, yet we have a limited supply of tickets, so make your plans early.

Reserved seating in the home plate view section (similar seating to previous years in upper deck behind home plate) will cost $24, and you can add stress-free bus transportation and not worry about driving or parking for only $6 more per person. Bus transportation will be leaving from Walmart in Inver Grove Heights and Bremer Bank in South St. Paul. Target Field does not offer picnic facilities so, unfortunately, our 26 years of grilling hot dogs has come to an end. We are, however, con-

tinuing the River Heights Chamber of Commerce’s tradition of hosting local group home residents, such as Guild Incorporated and Neighbors Inc. clients, to a once in a lifetime game. You can “Sponsor-a-Fan” to a fun night at Target Field, cheering on our Minnesota Twins. Contact the Chamber for more information on this program. The Simley High School Choir, under the direction of Mark Howarth, will represent our community by presenting the National Anthem. Tickets are available at Pro Pharmacy in South St. Paul and the Chamber office in Inver Grove Heights. Don’t wait until the last minute or you may miss out. For more details and ticket information, contact the River Heights Chamber of Commerce at 651-4512266 or visit

C ommunity Organizations

Your community news and information source For a complete list of the events and activities, visit and click on 2010 Community Events Calendar.

Get Outdoors Day

Looking for something to do this summer? What does “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” The Wendinger Brothers Polka Bank and beach balls have in common? The answer is the South St. Paul Mayor’s Youth Task Force and Wednesday nights this summer. Wednesday nights in South St. Paul is the place to be. This summer, the South St. Paul Mayor’s Youth Task Force will be hosting and partnering with various community organizations as part of the “Finding Things to do in South St. Paul” campaign. In addition to hosting the events, each member of the task force will lead one of the events or activities. What kind of events and activities? Here are a few.

June 12, 1-3 p.m., Northview Park Going Green has never been so much fun in South St. Paul. Join Little Black Hoof Ventures, the Parks and Recreation Department and the task force for an afternoon of special outdoor activities for kids and adults alike. Activities and events will include Going Green with Granny, the Incredible Water Journey, H20 Olympics and Long Haul Races. This event is free and open to everyone.

Swimming Under the Stars pool parties

Annual Kaposia Days Parade Food Drive

Wednesday evenings, August 4, 11, 18 and 25, Dusk (around 9 p.m.) at Central Square Community Center The task force will be joining forces with local businesses, the South St. Paul Jaycees and the Parks and Recreation Department this year to host the 5 th season of Movies in the Park. The family friendly movies will begin at dusk at Central Square Community Center. The task force is currently selecting which movies will be seen. (In case of rain, movie nights will be moved to the next Thursday evening, starting at dusk). Movies are free and open to everyone. The South St. Paul Mayor’s Youth Task Force is made up of students in grades 5-12. The mission is to find things to do in South St. Paul to help prevent underage drinking and smoking among our youth. If you are a youth or know of a youth who are interested in joining the task force, visit and click on Mayor’s Youth Task Force or contact Deb Griffith, community affairs liaison, at deb.griffith@ or 651-554-3230.

June 25, 6:30 p.m., along the Parade Route The task force will be collecting non-perishable items and donations during the Kaposia Days Parade. All items will be donated to Neighbors, Inc. Watch for the Food Drive Soup Cans during the parade.

Sounds of South St. Paul Wednesday evenings, June 30-Aug. 11, 6:30 p.m. at Central Square Community Center Seven exciting weeks of performances representing the ethnic cultures of South St. Paul will be showcased, starting June 30. Sponsored by the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, the South St. Paul Mayor’s Youth Task Force, South St. Paul Healthy Youth Community Coalition and the South St. Paul School diversity program, these performances are free and open to youth and adults. The programs include: • June 30 - Miguel Sevillano Group • July 7 - Inver Hills Community Band • July 14 - Cyril Paul and the Calypso Monarchs

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South St. Paul Voice - June 2010 - Page 11

B ack in Time The House on the Hill Lois Glewwe Contributor


idden behind the trees that now dominate the hillside at Bircher and Concord Streets at South St. Paul’s far north end is the imposing residence that has become known as the Weir house. The property is one of the earliest residential sites in the city. It was owned by William Bircher who settled in the area in the late 1860s. Bircher served as a drummer boy in the Civil War and came to Minnesota as a settler. One of the earliest schools in northern Dakota County, Bircher School, was located on the property until it was torn down in 1888. John and Francisca Karnstedt Weir became owners of the property and moved their family into the big house at the top of the hill in 1902. Francisca’s family, the Karnstedts, lived at 1649 Willis Ave. after moving

to South St. Paul in 1888. She married John Weir in 1892. The Weirs had eight children: Lillian, LeRoy, Violet, Grace, Ruth, Pearl, Henry and Dorothy. The last three were born in the house on the Bircher hill. John Weir worked in the meatpacking plants for many years but then decided to go into the grocery business. He built his final store right on the corner of Bircher and Concord on his own property. He provided fresh produce from the St. Paul Farmers’ Market, milk, eggs, butter, bread, staples and a variety of penny candy for the children in the neighborhood. The little building still stands on the corner today. Andrea Tweit, the daughter of the youngest Weir girl, Dorothy Weir Tweit, shared the family’s story in 1986 for the South St. Paul Centennial history. She grew up lis-

tening to stories that her aunts and uncles loved to tell at every family gathering. All eight of the Weir children loved the big old house and the surrounding neighborhood. The house had two barns and a windmill, as well as a six-sided playhouse that Jack built. Many attractions beckoned the children of the area, including the Mississippi River where they often headed with their fishing poles. In winter, the steep slopes of the ravine provided opportunity for skiing, tobogganing and sledding. Another favorite spot was the spring slough, which was located between what were then two sets of railroad tracks, southeast of the end of Bircher Avenue. The shallow end of the slough stayed open all year because of the underground spring but the other end became a

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The gracious home of the Weir family still stands atop the Bircher Hill above Concord Street on Willis Avenue. Today the structure is obscured from view by the trees that have taken over the property but in the early 1900s, the house was visible from the Mississippi River. skating rink in the winter months. The children would sometimes put on their skates in the house and attempt to walk on their blades to the bumpy ice of the frozen slough. In summer, a team of neighborhood children often gathered on Willis Avenue at the top of Bircher to play kittenball. The only drawback to the location was that any outfielder who missed a catch often had to chase the ball all the way down the steep Bircher hill to Concord Street and beyond. The Weir girls were in

their teens during the fashionable age of white ruffled dresses, huge hair bows and dainty lacedup kid boots. Known for their fun parties, the girls were popular residents of the city in the years leading up to World War I. One of the stories about the house that Andrea Tweit shared was of the Halloween parties that the girls hosted. There were three large bedrooms and one little bedroom on the upstairs level. The small bedroom had just one window so it was often dark and the family called it the “dark

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West St. Paul, 651-455-6995

room.” Because of the name it had been given, children tended to find it a bit scary. At Halloween, guests were often led upstairs one-by-one and made to enter the little, dark room where an icy hand would grasp them, causing screams of terror. Inside the room was LeRoy Weir who used an ice-filled rubber glove on a stick covered with a sleeve to create the frightening effect. Jack and Francesca Weir both died in 1949 but the house remained home to Lillian, Pearl, Violet and Henry for another forty-some years until they had all passed away. Most recently, the house on the hill was owned by Roger Nielsen who restored the gracious residence to its original glory and added a lovely hilltop garden and multilevel patio around the old home.

Safety Manager PCL Construction Services, Inc. is seeking a Safety Manager to work from our district office in Burnsville, MN. Ten years of related HSE experience in the field of construction is preferred. Position details & application can be found online at www. Job ID # 1831 No phone calls or walk-ins please. PCL is an Equal Opportunity Employer. M/F/D/V

SSP June 2010  

Citizens work for Yellow Ribbon status to support military families June 2010 Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer outdoor movies in the park....

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