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March 2011 Volume 8 Number 3

IN THIS ISSUE... • • • •

Does where you spend your money matter?

‘Buy Local’ movement ramps ups efforts to get residents spending their money closer to home

News Briefs.................................. page 4 Sample St. Paul............................ page 6 River Connections.. .................... page 11 Back in Time.. ............................ page 12

Lafayette Bridge work begins Page 3

Sample St. Paul Event Guide Page 6

Marie Avenue, which has several smaller, independent businesses, has the traditional Main Street charm that many newer shopping districts seek to replicate. Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


oday’s retail corridors barely resemble those of decades past, when small, independent businesses were the norm rather than the exception. However, South St. Paul is rather unique in that it has been able to retain a larger percentage of locally owned businesses than many surrounding suburbs. There’s a movement gaining steam that is welcome news to many of these businesses. “Buy Local” advocates both at the local and statewide levels are touting the benefits of shopping near where you live. Studies show that every dollar spent locally stays

in the community and is circulated many times, creating what economists call an “economic multiplier.” The question is what is local? Does buying from a corporate chain store located in the community qualify as local? Jennifer Gale, president of the River Heights Chamber of Commerce, believes it does. Purchases made at Burger King or Angelo’s Pizza both benefit the community, she says, because both businesses employ local people. “Money spent locally keeps people employed so they can continue to support local government with property taxes,” said Gale. The River Heights

Chamber promotes keeping dollars in the community through its “Keep it Local” campaign. Its website — — has more than 50 categories of local businesses listed on it. The State of Minnesota also has a BuyLocalMN website that zeroes in on a particular city or section of the state. But others believe buying local means more than just buying from businesses in the community; it means buying from small, independently owned businesses versus corporate chain stores. Last Christmas, the West Side’s Riverview Economic Development Association (REDA) ad-

opted a Buy Local campaign that urged West Side residents to shop in District del Sol for their Christmas gifts and holiday food. The promotion included coupons, discount cards and sales events designed to entice consumers to stroll through the neighborhood and discover that most everything they needed was within walking distance of their homes. REDA leaders say that dollars spent at independents go much farther in strengthening the local economy than those spent at corporate chain stores because independent business own-

Buy Local / Page 2

Island Dreams Page 11

B usiness

Your community news and information source

Buy Local from page 1 ers tend to use other local suppliers to keep their operations running, everything from accounting to office suppliers, to construction and marketing services. Corporate chains like Home Depot and Starbucks provide their own suppliers. In 2002, a study in

Texas showed that for every $100 spent in a chain bookstore, only $13 of it was put back into the local economy. However, of that same $100 spent at a local, independently owned bookstore, $45 was infused back into the local economy. Since independents are most often owned by people who live in the community, their own-


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ers have a more vested interest in their community’s future. They are the businesses that typically sponsor area athletic teams and donate to local fundraising events. Supporting independents also preserves the character and uniqueness of the community, something many community leaders are realizing is very important. In an in-

Kindergarten and Preschool Roundup and Registration Tues., Mar. 8 Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. Please enter at the upper level off Bromley and 19th. If you have any questions, please call 651-451-8395 or e-mail secretary@saintjohn

creasingly homogenized world, many cities are striving to recapture the Main Street magic to offer a charming character to their community. “The downtown charm gives the city a sense of cohesiveness. It gives the community an identity,” said Gale The Metropolitan Independent Business Alliance asserts that joint buying of anything from health insurance to toilet paper will lower the cost of supplies and services for small independent businesses. Distributing debit or gift cards honored by local small businesses will attract more customers, and legislative programs that

give tax breaks to small businesses and developers, will put small businesses and chain stores on a more equal footing. Amazingly enough, in these tough economic times, entrepreneurship is rising. “This happens when the economy slides,” said Gale. “More entrepreneurs are entering the market now. Many new ideas for businesses are being created via online storefronts. We are a global economy and location is not what drives shoppers. But people do like to touch and see things. A relationship developed is a priority throughout business and is important in their suc-

cess or failure.” The Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development is involved in supporting start-up businesses with small business grants. The Small Business Administration (SBA) micro loan program provides very small loans to startup, newly established, or growing small businesses. Under this program, SBA makes funds available to nonprofit community based lenders (intermediaries) which, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers in amounts up to a maximum of $35,000. The average loan size is about $13,000.

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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 Layout & Design: Mona Toft Contributor: Lois Glewwe Masthead design by Nick Germano Advertising: Mario Polanco, Henry Torres Home Delivery: Independent Delivery Service Bulk Delivery: SC Distribution 651-285-1119

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Dakota Premium Foods 425 S. Concord 455-6611 • Central Square Community Fitness Center “Where South St. Paul comes together”

100 - 7th Ave. N. 306-3690 • Jodee Paape & Associates, LLC 100 BridgePoint Dr.,Ste. 120 455-4621 • Ries Electric 777 N. Concord 451-2238 • Deering & Sons Auto Body 1449 S. Concord 455-5089 • South St. Paul Voice

Mayor Beth Baumann • James P. Leary, Jr. Certified Public Accountant

1560 Livingston Ave., Suite 102, West St.Paul 450-9373 • Midwest Fabrics 1226 S. Concord 451-6289 • South St. Paul Healthy Youth Coalition

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457-9491 • Central Bank 835 Southview Blvd. 451-2133 • Thompson Trucks and Parts, Inc. 316 Malden St. 455-9300


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Lafayette Bridge work begins Project details offered at Mar. 24 community meeting Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


he long-awaited construction of the new northbound and southbound Highway 52 Lafayette Bridges in St. Paul has begun. The project stretches along Hwy. 52 from East Seventh Street to just south of Plato Avenue. Commuters crossing the bridge will notice heavy construction equipment on the east side of the current bridge, where the new northbound bridge will be located.

Here’s the plan

Expected to be in place before spring are piers 1, 2 and 3 on the south, and pier 6 on the north. “Piers” are the huge pylons sunk into the river to support the bridge. Before that can happen, however, steel coffer dams must be placed into the river. These are created with large, heavy steel rings brought in by barge, which are sunk into the water and mud of the river, dropping between 80 and 100 feet to reach bedrock. They

are carefully placed one on top of the other until they rise above the water’s surface. Water is then pumped out of the rings to create a dryer space for construction of the bridge’s center piers. Kent Barnard, public affairs coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, pointed out the magnitude of this sort of project by recalling his own experience of going down into a coffer dam in the mid-1990s during construction of the Bloomington Ferry Bridge. “It was a little unnerving seeing signs all over that said ‘If there are three long blasts, move it!’ You would have to climb up a series of spiral steps to get out if something happened,” he said. Look for this amazing feat of engineering to unfold this spring, along with a cleanup of contamination from railroad yards on the south end, and construction of a drainage pond and highway loops from the northbound bridge to East Seventh Street. The project includes

replacement of the Hwy. 52 bridges over I-94 on the north. The Hwy. 52 bridges spanning Plato Boulevard south of the river will be redecked with concrete because they have deteriorated over the years from roadway salt and traffic. The two new bridges are designed to solve the problems of mammoth slowdowns and congestion and the high number of rear end collisions on the nearly threequarters of a mile long bridge, which supports 81,000 vehicles daily. Each bridge will provide two through-lanes and an auxiliary lane in each direction for entering and exiting traffic. Lanes for pedestrians and bicyclists are included in the plans. The northbound bridge is expected to be completed by fall 2012. The existing Lafayette Bridge will remain open with no major impact on traffic during construction. Once completed, traffic will be switched to the new bridge and the existing Lafayette Bridge will be demolished. Construction of

Lenten Special

This sketch shows the new look of the Lafayette Bridge. the new southbound Hwy. 52 bridge will begin in spring 2013 with completion projected for fall 2014. Once traffic is shifted from the current bridge to the new northbound bridge, two lanes of traffic in each direction will be maintained by using the shoulders as lanes. Some ramp closures will occur during construction. MnDOT will provide plenty of advance notice. Hwy. 52 will remain open for the full construction period. Barnard mentioned that public meetings were held during the design phase. Now, he said, an open house will be held 3 to 6 p.m., Thurs., Mar. 24 at the Union Depot, 214 E. 4th St., St. Paul. Along with

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information about the Lafayette Bridge reconstruction, the meeting will include information about the Union Depot restoration, Central Corridor Light Rail Transit and city of St. Paul 2011 construction. Additional meetings will be scheduled at various locations, including the Wellstone Center. Visit http://www. projects/Hwy.52-stpaul/ for a walkthrough of the project from start to finish and an opportunity to sign up for email updates.

Celebrating over 125 Years of Excellence

DOT reports that the bridge currently undergoes an in-depth, annual bridge inspection. The most recent inspection was carried out in September 2010 and found no significant problems. The overall condition of the bridge is fair and satisfactory for public use, according to the report. The lowest of six bids for the project was made by Lunda Construction Company of Black River Falls, Wisc., at $130.4 million. Bridge designers needed to take into consideration navigational channel constraints along the river, as well as height restraints from nearby Holman Airport and its runway clear zone and Xcel Energy’s overhead power lines.

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Lighting Hearts, Guarding Souls, and Guiding Minds for over 125 Years South St. Paul Voice - March 2011 - Page 3

N ews Briefs

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Library happenings mation packets are avail- • Finger knitting - The Association for the Edu- Community gardens For more information able at the library’s front Textile Center of Minne- cation of Young Children for rent on the following library events, call 651-5543240 or visit • Free computer help – The library is offering free assistance with basic computer questions and applications 1-2 p.m., Thurs., Mar. 17, including e-mail, social networking, MS Word and more. • Book discussions – March’s title is “The Middle of Everywhere: The World’s Refugees Come to Our Town,” by Mary Pipher. In this exposé, psychologist Mary Pipher delves into the new cultural norm that is mirrored in many Midwestern cities, including her hometown of Lincoln, Neb., where refugees from throughout the world have come to escape atrocities on their native soil. The Wednesday group meets at 1 p.m., Mar. 16. The Thursday group meets at 7 p.m., Mar. 17. Infor-

desk and at under Adult Book Discussions. • Wii party – A teens’ Wii party is offered 3-4:30 p.m., Tues., Mar. 8 as part of Teen Tech Week. • Storytimes - Preschool Storytime is offered each Tuesday at 10:15 a.m. Toddler storytime is offered Wednesdays at 10:15 a.m., and Baby Storytime is offered Mondays at 6:30 p.m., Mar. 7, 14 and 28. The library is also hosting a storytime for men to read to special children in their lives 11 a.m.-noon, Sat., Mar. 12. • Paws to READ - Caesar, a therapy and reading assistance dog, will be at the library 4-5 p.m., Thursday Mar. 10 and 24. Registration is required. • Book Bunch Book Club – This club for youth in grades 4-6 will be meeting 4-5 p.m., Mon., Mar. 7. Registration is required..

sota will present a finger knitting demonstration 1-3 p.m., Sat., Mar. 12 for youth ages 6-10. Registration is required. • Bookmaking - Eagan Art House will teach basic bookmaking 3-5 p.m., Wed., Mar. 16. This class is for ages 6-11. All materials are free. Space is limited and registration is required. • Reading Party – A reading party for kids age 5 and younger is offered noon-1 p.m., Fri., Mar. 18. Participants should bring a lunch. Entertainment provided by Wendy’s Wiggle, Jiggle, and Jam! • Book BINGO - A family-friendly Book Bingo event is offered 2-3 p.m., Wed., Mar. 30. All ages are welcome. • Children’s artwork needed - Children are encouraged to submit artwork (no larger than 18” x 24”) by Mar. 21 to have it displayed at the library during National


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Week of the Young Child, The South St. Paul held April 10-16. For Parks and  Recremore information, call ation Department is rentAmy at 651-554-3244.. ing 15-by-20-foot community garden plots at Youth spring the west end of  McMorbreak activities row Field,  200 South St.  The South St. Paul Rental rates are  $20 for Parks and Recreation de- adults, and $15 for ages partment is offering a day 55 and over.  Past garden of activities Mar. 29 for plot renters have priority youth ages 6 and up. The sign-up Mar. 1-11.  All day includes bowling at others residents may regMatties Lanes (includes ister Mar. 15. Non-resishoes and bumpers, if dents may register April 1 needed), a pizza lunch for $25.  For more inforat Central Square Com- mation or to register, call munity Center, and a 306-3690 or visit Central Floats and Flicks party at Square Community Centhe Central Square pool. ter, 100 Seventh Ave. N, Participants will meet at South St. Paul. Matties Lanes, 365 No. Concord St., at 9:45 a.m. Adult softball and will need to be picked leagues forming up at Central Square at Informational meetings 3 p.m.  Pre-registration for South St. Paul’s adult is necessary.  Cost is $23 softball leagues will be per participant. For more held in March. A meeting information or to regis- for the men’s league takes ter, call 306-3690 or visit place at 7 p.m., Mon., Central Square Commu- Mar. 14 at the South St. nity Center, 100 Seventh Paul VFW. A meeting Ave. N, South St. Paul. for women’s and co-rec leagues is held at 7 p.m.,

Wed., Mar. 16 at Drkula’s in Inver Grove Heights. For more information, call 651-455-1725.

Swimming lessons begin Mar. 14

The Central Square Community Center is accepting registrations for American Red Cross certified swimming lessons, which begin Mar. 14 at the Central Square Pool, 100 Seventh Ave. N., South St. Paul. The 8-week classes are offered Monday nights or Saturday mornings for infant/ toddlers up to Level 6. Cost is $37 for Central Square Community Center members and $47 for non-members.  For more information or to register, call 306-3690 or visit 

Parks and Rec. summer programs

The South St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department Summer Brochure will be mailed to every household in South St. Paul in late March,

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Page 4 - South St. Paul Voice - March 2011 Your neighborhood real estate specialist since 1986

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N ews Briefs

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and will also be available at www.southstpaul. org. The publication will feature a large variety of summer programs for all ages, including summer playgrounds, day camps, pre-school programs, youth trips, outdoor swimming lessons and more.

shelter and Kaposia Park has a shelter and a pavilion for rent. All other public picnic facilities are available on a first come, first served basis. Rentals are available 8 a.m.-10 p.m., daily, May 7-Oct. 16. For availability and rental information, call 651-306-3690.

Floats and Flicks parties

Off-leash dog area permits

The Central Square Community Center (CSCC), 100 Seventh Ave. N., will host a Floats and Flicks party 6-8 p.m., Mar. 11 and 25. Participants will watch a movie on a big screen while floating in the pool. Cost is $3.25, or free for CSCC members. For more information, call 651-306-3690.

Park shelter reservations

Permits are now available for the Kaposia Landing Off-Leash Dog Area, located at 800 Bryant Ave., South St. Paul. This 6.3-acre fenced parcel offers the only legal area for dogs to run, recreate and train without a leash in the city. Users must have a permit to use the park. Cost is $20 for residents and $30 for non-residents. The fee supports on-going maintenance and development of the park. For more information, visit www. or call 651-306-3690.

The South St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department is accepting reservations for its picnic and special events faciliGTL_10.25x7_2-11_P12-1559.pdf 10:36 AM All Express ties. Lorraine Park has a Fare 1for2/15/11

Fare For All Express will be held 4-6 p.m., Tues., Mar. 1 at Central Square Community Center, 100 7th 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 or visit www.southstpaul. org.

Volunteer opportunities • Read Across South St. Paul - Volunteers are needed the first Friday of each month to read to elementary students in South St. Paul. The Read Across South St. Paul program has reached more than 60,000 students.   If you like to read to kids, this is the program for you. For more information, contact Deb Griffith at 651-554-3230 or, or visit www. • Neighbors, Inc., a social service agency serving Northern Dakota County, has a number of volunteer opportunities to assist local residents. For more information, contact volunteer@ or call 651-306-2145. • The Minnesota

Reading Corps is seeking reading tutors. The program provides free, one-on-one tutoring to children age three through third grade.  Minnesota Reading Corps members receive a living stipend, reimbursement for college (up to $5,350) and health insurance (for fulltime members). For more information or to apply online, visit or call 1-866-859-2825. • Minnesota Literacy Council - Volunteers are needed to tutor adult learners, assist in an adult classroom and teach basic English and GED classes. For more information, contact Allison at 651645-2277, ext 219, or • Volunteers of America is looking for volunteers age 55 and over to assist children who are struggling with homework and reading. Time commitment ranges from 3-12 hours a week. To volunteer or receive more information, contact

Gil Zamora at 651-4707416. • DARTS has several volunteer opportunities to assist families and individuals with transportation and in-home services. DARTS is also looking for a videographer to document volunteers and staff as they assist clients. DARTS will supply a flip camera, story context and recording tips. Videos will be posted on the DARTS website and YouTube. For more information, contact 651-455-1560 or

HHW collection

The household hazardous waste collection site at Bay West, 5 Empire Dr. in St. Paul, is open yearround. Drop-off is free for residents of metro area counties with a photo I.D. For hours of operation, call the Ramsey County Recycling Hotline at 651-633-EASY (3279) or visit

Have you always wanted to be a teacher? Fulfill your dream through The College of St. Scholastica’s Graduate Teaching Licensure Program for working adults. If you have your bachelor’s degree and have thought about getting your teaching license, it’s time. Classes are offered online and on weekends, completion is possible within 18 months, and by taking a few additional courses you can earn a master’s degree. For more information contact a Graduate Counselor at or call (651) 403-8625. You can also go online at

Graduate Teaching Licensure Program South St. Paul Voice - March 2011 - Page 5

S ample St. Paul

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Ordway Center for Performing Arts Shen Yun Performing Arts presents classical Chinese dance and music in a colorful and exhilarating show at 7 p.m., Wed., Mar. 16, at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. See ancient tales of virtue brought to life alongside modern stories of courage. Tickets are $60-$180. “STOMP” is presented Mar. 29-April 3. The eight-member troupe uses everything but conventional percussion instruments – matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters, hubcaps – to fill the stage with magnificent rhythms. Updates include two new pieces, “Paint Cans” and “Donuts,” plus revisions to the favorite piece “Bins.” Tickets are $27-$65. For more information, call 651-2244222 or visit

The 8-member troupe “STOMP” will use everything but conventional percussion instruments at its Mar. 16 performance at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts.

Science Museum “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs” is featured through Sept. 5. The exhibit, which fea-

tures over 100 artifacts of the treasures of King Tut, explores the time of the pharaohs and what scientists have recently discovered regarding the unex-

pected death of King Tut. To complement the exhibit, the Onmintheatre is featuring “Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs.” In the late 19th century, 40

royal mummies, including 12 Kings of Egypt, were discovered together in the same tomb. Today, scientists continue to explore the process of

ancient Egyptian mummification using modern technology. See the first modern mummification in the Egyptian style since the time of the pharaohs, and find out what mysteries scientists hope to unravel by studying ancient DNA. Tickets are $25 for adults, $22 for children ages 4-12, and $29 for seniors age 60 and older. Price includes all Science Museum exhibits. Museum tickets are $11 for adults, $8.50 for children ages 4-12, and seniors age 60 and older, or $17 and $14.50 respectively with admission to the Omnitheater. Omnitheater tickets alone are $8/$7. The Science Museum is located at 120 W. Kellogg Blvd. For more information, visit www., or call 651221-9444.

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S ample St. Paul at 4 p.m., Sun., Mar. 13. Tickets are $27-$82. For more information, call 651-726-8240 or visit www.xcelenergycenter. com. Country superstar Kenny Chesney and his “Goin’ Coastal Tour,” with special guests Billy Currington and Uncle Kracker, will perform at 7 p.m., Fri., Mar. 25. Tickets are $29.50-$79.50.

History Theatre Kevin Kling’s “A Tale of Twin Cities” is presented Mar. 12-April 3 at the History Theatre, History Theater is located at 30 E. Tenth St., St. Paul. Minnesota storyteller Kevin Kling teams up with local singer-songwriter Simone Perrin to spin some yarns and sing some tunes that explore the sometimes loving, sometimes tumultuous, shared histories of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Tickets are $28-$32 for adults, $25-$30 for seniors and $10 for children. “American as Curry Pie” is presented Mar. 17-April 10. First-generation immigrant and local artist Aamera Siddiqui guides audiences through her 30-year journey to become an American citizen. Told with honesty and humor, it is about living with multiple identities and discovering what it means to be


Your community news and information source

an American. Tickets are $25-$30 for adults, $22$28 for seniors and $10 for children. 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 Mar. 2. Tickets are $20. For more information, call the box office at 651292-4323.

Children’s Museum LEGO Castle Adventure is featured through Sept. 11. Visitors help design a new castle for the king and queen using one of the neatest building materials of all time: LEGO bricks. Visitors can construct castles, learn about real-world castles and their building secrets, and plan their ideal castle’s defenses. Families can explore the inside of the royal castle, test their fortress designs with a catapult, spot a dragon and climb a battlement wall. Tickets are $8.95. The museum is located at 10 W. Seventh St., St. Paul. For more information, call 651-225-6000.



History Center “The Value of One Life” is presented through April 10 at the Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. This exhibit highlights portraits of eight people who survived life-altering events and went on to lead inspiring lives. 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

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 651-2921359 or visit

Twin Cities Jazz Festival sets date

The 13th annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival will take place June 23-25 at Mears Park in downtown St. Paul. Headliners include Gary Burton Quartet with Julian Lage, Antonio Sanchez

and Jorge Roeder, Airforce Notables, Deodato and Danilo Perez. For more information, visit

Strauss and Tchaikowsky will be performed. Admission is free.

Park Square Theatre

Sinfonia concert

Minnesota Sinfonia will present a program of overtures and choruses from operas at 7 p.m., Fri., Mar. 18, at First Covenant Church. Selections from Puccini, Verdi, Handel, Mozart,

“The Diary of Anne Frank” is presented Mar. 6 and 10. In this extraordinary account of eight Jews hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, Anne Frank emerges from history as a lyrical and intensely gifted young woman. Be inspired by

this timeless account of a girl whose imagination and hope would not be stifled by adversity. Tickets are $20-$60. Tickets for ages 30 and under are $15. A $5 discount is offered for people age 62 and older. The theater is located in the Historic Hamm Building, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. For more information, call 651-291-7005.

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Assisted Living Memory Care Short-stay Rehabilitation Unit Skilled Nursing For more information or a tour, please contact 651-326-6500 Residence 651-232-6000 Bethesda Care Center 724 – 19th 9th Avenue N., South St. Paul,, MN MN 55075

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Phone: 651-450-9373 Fax: 651-450-9214 Toll Free: 1-888-450-9373 South St. Paul Voice - March 2011 - Page 7

N ews Briefs Beyond the Yellow Ribbon run

Your community news and information source

Participants and sponsors are needed for the third annual Beyond the Yellow Ribbon of South St. Paul 5k/10k fun run/ walk, held Sun., June 12 at the North Urban Regional Trail in South St Paul. Organizers are hoping 400 people will participate to help celebrate South St Paul becoming a Yellow Ribbon City. Beyond the Yellow Ribbon is a program that supports local troops, from deployment to the time they come home and reintegrate into the community. Services and activities include sending care packages, hosting a Christmas Party for service member families, date nights, babysitting clinics, mar-

riage and grief counseling courses, and other events to help families reconnect. Sponsorships range from $150 to $2,000. For more information, contact Deb Callahan at 651-552-9237 or debmckcallahan@msn. com.

HRA loses long time commissioner

John D. Regep, long time South St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) commissioner, died Dec. 20, 2010, at the age of 66. Regep was appointed to the HRA Board in July 1990 and served continuously for the next 20 years as a commissioner, secretary, vice chairperson, and chairperson for the past 10 years. Accord-

ing to spokesperson Edie Kleinboehl, one of the highlights of his work was helping bring new business to the Bridgepoint Business Park, and helping develop the housing subdivisions of Wilson Heights and Wentworth Hollow. Kleinboehl called Regep an “outstanding commissioner, as well as an outstanding South St. Paul resident, and a supporter of affordable housing in the community.” She said he was an active member of VFW Post 295, where he served as Post Commander and Quartermaster, Adjutant Second District, and was also a member of Am Vets. Upon retiring as a machinist from 3M, Regep enjoyed fishing, vacationing in Florida

New Senior Housing in South St. Paul Opening Fall 2011

and watching his grandchildren participate in sporting events. He is survived by his mother, Christine Nadeau; wife of 44 years, Nance; daughter, Michelle Smallidge; son, Donald (Shelly); and grandchildren, Courtney, Nick, Justin, Jason, Karlie and Gianna.

Author to speak at First Presbyterian

Mary Treacy O’Keefe, author of “Thin Places: Where Faith is Affirmed and Hope Dwells,” is the guest speaker at a special adult forum 11:30 a.m.1 p.m., Sun., Mar. 6 at the First Presbyterian Church of South St. Paul, 535 20th Avenue N. Theologian Marcus Borg observes that “thin places” are experiences or places “where the veil momentarily lifts, and we behold God, experience the one in whom we live,

all around us and within us.” By sharing inspiring stories from her book, O’Keefe will demonstrate how “thin places” are often interpreted as manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s active involvement in people’s lives. She will also discuss how gratitude enables us to deepen our relationship with the Divine. After a career in the corporate world, O’Keefe received a Master’s Degree in Theology/Spirituality from the College of St. Catherine. She is also trained as a Cancer Guide and as a Mind, Body Skills facilitator by the Center for Mind Body Medicine in Washington, D.C. Following her experiences as a breast cancer survivor, she co-founded and is president of Well Within, a holistic wellness resource center in St. Paul. Light refreshments

V.F.W. POST 295 South St. Paul • 651-455-1505 Live Music in March

Apply now for Thompson Heights, an independent living senior (age 55+) housing development that will be located on Thompson Avenue between 13th and 15th Avenue North in South St. Paul. The building will be completely smoke-free and will feature: • Mix of one- and two-bedroom units • Underground Heated Parking Garage • Secured Entrances • Exercise Room • Laundry Facilities • Community Room with Kitchen • Exercise & Club Rooms • Elevator • Secured Entrances • Screened Porch There will be 60 units, of which 54 will have affordable fixed rents, and six two-bedroom units will have market rate rents. Affordable Fixed-Rent Units: • Income Limits: One person: $45,100; Two people: $51,550 • Rent: 1 bedroom = $550; 2 bedroom = $673 Market Rate Units: • No income limits • Rent: $895 (includes one underground parking space)

Note: These are 2010 income limits and rents and they are subject to change.

To request an application, call 651-675-4440. For more information visit or call 651-675-4400 Page 8 - South St. Paul Voice - March 2011

March 4 ............................................ Brian Mack Band (Country) March 5 ............................................. High Brow and the Shades March 11 ...............................Killer Hayseeds (Country), $5 cover March 12 .................................................Jug (Country), $5 cover March 15 ................................River City Jazz Orchestra, 7-10 pm March 18 .....................................................Iron Horse (Country) March 19 ....................................Jonah and the Whales, $5 cover March 25 .................................................... Dixie Hicks (Country) March 26 ........................................................................Joy Ride

St. Patrick's Day Party THURS., MARCH 17 Green Beer & Irish Whiskey at discounted prices and T-Shirt Drawings. Corned Beef & Cabbage (11 am unti gone) .

Food & Drink Specials Lunch Special - 75¢ Corn Dogs, $1 small domestic tap beer, 11 am-2 pm Mon-Fri 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 $2.25, no take-outs Tues - $1.75 Burger Night; 2nd Tuesday Turtle Lake Casino Trip, 9 am, $5, get two free drinks upon return from casino Wed - Bar and Mega Bingo, 7 pm start Wed & Thur - $1 Corn Dogs Thurs - Karaoke, 8-close; Ladies & Gentlemens Night, 9-close; discount on all drinks and beer, 9 pm -close, $1 Jello shots Fri - live music 9 pm-1 am, open until 2 am, Bomb specials, starting at $3, 9 pm-midnight; Famous Fish Fry every Friday through Good Friday, 11 am-1 pm and 5-8 pm Sat - Mega Tacos $3 and meat raffle,noon-4 pm, open until 2 am, Bomb specials, starting at $3, 9 pm-midnight Burger Kitchen - open Mon-Sat, 4-10 pm Hall rental & special packages available for fundraisers.

will be served for this free event. For more information, call 651-451-6223 or visit

Historical society hosts program on collecting family medical history

The Dakota County Historical Society will host a program at 7 p.m., Thurs., Mar. 17 on the importance of researching your family medical history. Guest speaker Mary Jarvais Ahrens will explain why genetics has such a strong impact on health and why this topic should be included when researching family history. She will also give examples of important questions to ask relatives about their health. Ahrens has a master’s degree in genetic counseling and has served for 20 years at the University of Minnesota advising patients with a variety of genetic concerns, presently focusing on cancer genetic counseling. This free program is sponsored by the Dakota County Genealogical Society and will be held at the Dakota County Historical Society, 130 Third Ave. N., South St. Paul. For more information, call Dick Thill at 651-452-5926.

St. John Vianny Rummage Sale

St. John Vianny Church, located at 19th and Bromley in South St. Paul, is hosting its tenth annual rummage sale Mar. 31-April 2. A presale with a $2 entrance fee takes place 4-7 p.m., Mar. 31. Sale hours are 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m., April 1, and 9 a.m.2 p.m., April 2. A bag sale begins at noon, April 2. The sale features new and gently used clothing for adults, children and infants, books, jewelry, toys, household items, furniture, antiques and collectibles.

N ews Briefs

Your community news and information source

Concord Boulevard corridor receives $88,000 planning grant

to incorporate mixed uses in the South Concord Corridor, from I-494 to the southern city limit. The Metropolitan According to Progress Council recently awarded Plus, the Economic Dea planning grant to the velopment Foundation of cities of South St. Paul the River Heights Chamand Inver Grove Heights ber of Commerce that to help redevelop Con- works closely with both cord Boulevard, from cities to promote ecoI-494 to 68th Street. nomic development, the The grants will be used city wants to provide pehelp create market stud- destrian connections to ies, zoning controls and existing residential areas, model ordinances, storm- regional trails and transit water management plans, service areas, and consider new residential develand more. South St. Paul was opment opportunities. Inver Grove Heights awarded $40,000 to create a redevelopment plan received $48,000 to help


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determine market feasibility and develop design guidelines for redevelopment in the heart of the Concord Boulevard neighborhood, which has been affected by major roadway reconstruction in recent years. Progress Plus said the city wants to reinvigorate the neighborhood, incorporate connections to major recreational HSEamenities, increase housing choices COORDINATOR and promote housing and PCL Construction business development. Services, Inc. is For more information, seeking a Health, visit www.progressplus. Safety and Environorg call 651-451mentorCoordinator to 2266. work in the Twin Cities. A Bachelor’s degree in HSE or similar education/experience and OSHA 30 are preferred. Additional NILLES requirements & details Builders can be found onlineInc. at Mn Lic# 4690 Job ID #2130. ADDITIONS REMODELING Applications accepted ROOFING online. CONCRETE Job ID #2130 GARAGES No phone calls or SIDING

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Water gardening in containers

Eric Johnson, founder of Garden Drama,, is the guest speaker at the South St. Paul Garden Club meeting, held at 7 p.m., Mon., Mar. 7 at VFW Post #295, 111 South Concord Ex-

EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT PCL Construction Services, Inc. is seeking an Executive Assistant to work in our Burnsville, MN office. Five years experience as an Executive Assistant and a BS/BA degree or Secretarial degree is preferred. Additional requirements & details can be found online at Job ID #2142. Applications accepted online. Job ID #2142 No phone calls or walk-ins please. EOE, AAE, M/F/D/V

change, South St. Paul. Johnson is a specialist in using water, water plants, ponds and water features in urban gardening. His talk will include tips and ideas for water gardening in containers. The meeting is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for refresh-

HSE COORDINATOR PCL Construction Services, Inc. is seeking a Health, Safety and Environment Coordinator to work in the Twin Cities. A Bachelor’s degree in HSE or similar education/experience and OSHA 30 are preferred. Additional requirements & details can be found online at Job ID #2130.

ments and a social time. For more information, contact Lois Glewwe at 651-457-3403 or visit


PCLASSISTANT Construction Services, Inc. is seekPCL Construction ing an entry-level Services, Inc. is seekProject Accountant ing an Executive As-to work in our Burnsville, sistant to work in our MN office. Bachelor’s Burnsville, MN office. Degree andexperiprevious Five years accounting experience ence as an Executive preferred.and Proficiency Assistant a BS/BA with JDEdwards-E1 degree or Secretarial and Strategy is ideal. degree is preferred. Additional requirements requireAdditional ments & details be & details can be can found found online at www. online at Job ID #2129. Job ID #2142.

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Y outh

Your community news and information source

‘Hey, South St. Paul, look what I can do!’


he South St. Paul Mayor’s Youth Task Force’s latest project came to life in February when FYI, “For Youth Information,” premiered on Town Square TV. Let’s rewind. Last fall,

Task Force members embarked on this project of creating their own monthly TV show — a show about youth that is created, written and produced by youth. We worked with Dan Mundt,

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


his “recovery from recession” business is quite puzzling. When we read the newspapers or listen to news broadcasts we hear that the economy is growing, and all signs show that we are well into our recovery. At least that’s what they say. But you can’t prove it by us here at Neighbors. We don’t see any recovery that is reaching the ordinary citizen. In fact, from our perspective, things seem to be getting worse on an ongoing basis. In January, 60 of the families who came to Neighbors for assistance in our food shelf were families that had never needed to

ask for assistance of any kind before. They were families who had finally reached the end of their own resources and had to turn elsewhere for help. One day in early January, I answered my phone and the voice on the other end said that they would like to make an appointment to see if we could help them. I asked what kind of help they were looking for so that I could direct them to the right office, and after a fairly long pause, the answer was, “Anything. I lost my job two years ago and haven’t been able to find a new job. My unemployment benefits

Page 10 - South St. Paul Voice - March 2011

an instructor and producer from Town Square TV. He taught us about the behind-the-scenes activities of producing a TV show, including operating studio cameras, audio and video equipment, editing, and a variety of other important functions. With the help of Dan and his staff, we had enough technical information to film our first show. During winter break, Task Force members met and scripted out ideas, guests and segments. With a script in hand and members signed up to be both in front of and behind the camera, we were ready to film. On a Saturday morning in January, we arrived at Town Square TV. Some of the Task Force members quickly went to work setting the stage, getting the microphones ready, adding Youth Task Force items to the background, going over the script, and getting the cameras

ready, while other members were welcoming the guests and giving their lines a final go-over. Filming began on time and went smoothly. The show flowed nicely and the Task Force members did a great job, with each member accomplishing their assigned task. Mayor Beth Baumann was the guest on the first episode, which featured interviews with members of the South St. Paul High School SADD members on what SADD is all about, and showcased things to do in South St. Paul. In addition, we introduced a Youth in Spotlight Award. This month’s award went to David Gunderman, a junior at the South St. Paul High School, who is organizing a snow shoveling program for South St. Paul senior citizens and disabled people. Under this program, high school students shovel the walks/ driveways of 12 residents for free. Thanks to An-

gelo’s Italian Restaurant for sponsoring this award program. Do you know a youth who deserves to be in the spotlight for doing something extraordinary for their family, an organization or the community? If so, we’d like to spotlight them. To receive a nomination form, visit www. (click on Mayor’s Youth Task Force) or contact Deb Griffith at deb.griffith@ or 651554-3230. The Youth Task Force will review all nomination forms and select one recipient each month. We are getting ready to film our second episode of FYI, which will be premiering on Town Square TV in March. Check it out and see what we can do!

have run out and I don’t have any savings left.” That has been a more and more common theme with people who are seeking us out and asking for help. Even with all the extensions to unemployment that the federal government has approved in the last couple of years, there comes a time when a person’s unemployment compensation finally ends, and if they haven’t found another job by then they are out of luck. March is Minnesota FoodShare month. It’s the month that every food shelf in the state works extra hard to refill the shelves following the “winter drain.” It’s a very important month for all of us because our share of the state’s grant for hunger relief, and our share of the funds distributed through the Feinstein Foundation for Hunger Relief, are determined by how much food and funding we bring in during March, in compari-

son with all other food shelves. As a result, March is the time when we at Neighbors ask all the people in our service area to find a way to help us. Many congregations in the area will conduct food drives during March. Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops and a wide variety of businesses often do the same. Knowlan’s in South St. Paul and Cub Foods in West St. Paul and Inver Grove Heights have collection boxes to receive food donations. Monetary contributions are especially welcome. Through our affiliation with Second Harvest we are able to acquire food for about 10 cents on the dollar, so we can fill in the gaps around all the food that is donated. And for Minnesota FoodShare purposes, a dollar and a pound of food count equally. Despite what we read or hear, the recession is a long way from being over,

at least as it applies to the average person. This year, more than ever, we need your help to keep meeting the increasing needs of people in our community. In late January, I had the privilege of hosting a troop of 12 Daisy Girl Scouts. This group of six- and seven-year-old girls who meet at Good Shepherd Lutheran in Inver Grove Heights had gone to a Cub Foods store just before Christmas and spent part of the day bagging groceries for people and singing carols. For their efforts they raised $653, which they brought to Neighbors for us to use in the food shelf. That’s an average of $54.42 cents for each girl in the troop, and considering their ages, I think it’s pretty remarkable that these girls so cheerfully and willingly earned that money so they could give it to Neighbors to be used to help others. It’s that willingness to

Talent show coming soon

the South St. Paul High School SADD program and the theater department to host a talent show called “Look What I Can Do,” which will take place at 7 p.m., Thurs., Mar. 24 at the South St. Paul High School Auditorium. The show is open to all South St. Paul students. Auditions will be held Mar. 9 and 10. For more information about auditioning, contact Eric Holsen, theater director, at 651-457-9430, or “Look what I Can Do” will showcase talent of youth from the community. Tickets will be available at the door for a donation of $2. All proceeds will go toward the Task Force and the SADD organization. In addition, non perishable food items will be collected at the door to benefit Neighbors, Inc.

Speaking of “see what we can do,” the Task Force is teaming up with

share what we have so others can benefit that has allowed Neighbors to serve the people of our community for the last 39 years. It’s that same willingness to share that we count on in March each year as we redouble our efforts to fill up our shelves and assure that we will have sufficient food to meet the needs of our neighbors during the coming months.

Rummage sale

Neighbors, Inc., 218 13th Ave. S., South St. Paul, is hosting a rummage sale 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Mar. 2 and 3, featuring household items, clothing, toys, baby items, books, small appliances, furniture and more. All proceeds fund programs for Neighbors, Inc. For more information, call 651-455-1508.

R iver Connections Island dreams

Your community news and information source

Surviving the winter by planning a trip on the river Tim Spitzack Editor


blame my recent bout with spring fever on Barton Sutter — him and the cold. And the 60-plus inches of snow. And days with only ten hours of daylight. And for having taken a winter vacation to a warm climate a few times. I recently discovered Sutter’s book “Cold Comfort; Life at the Top of the Map.” It’s a series of essays of his love for Duluth and living near one of the largest fresh water lakes in the world. A wonderful chapter called Map Fishing closely resembles a practice that I do about this time each year. With winter dominating eight months of the year in Duluth, Sutter writes extensively about how he survives living in a frigid climate. When the snow and the cold become too much to bear, he pulls out a map and starts planning his first fishing excursion of the spring. I, too, have employed this coping technique for many years, although my plans are of kayak trips on the Mississippi River. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offers a free resource that serves as my late-winter comforter and paddling

season companion: “The Mississippi River Guide.” This spiral-bound booklet contains detailed maps of the Mississippi River within the metro area. I searched for it the other day and found it beneath a stack of magazines with warm weather datelines.

Hatching a plan

When the economy was strong, my family and I had the good fortune of taking a few trips to Mexico in the wintertime — two, to be exact. They were four-day cruises out of southern Florida, which are the most economical way to travel to the Caribbean. Knowing that this type of vacation is out of the question this year, I fixed my dreams on the islands within the Mississippi River. One of my favorite places to kayak is around the southern edge of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, near Cottage Grove and Hastings. The area is dotted with several small islands, and the shallow, stump-filled waters outside of the main channel keep the pleasure boaters away. One particular island I’ve paddled by numerous times is filled with large, bushy trees, and has a little cove surrounded by a nice sandy

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lawn chairs, all lashed together and solidly staked down so they won’t blow away. This is perfectly legal. The DNR allows camping on these islands for up to three nights at a time. While there, I will make a fire-ring and scavenge downed wood for a campfire. When I return home, I will call my friend, who fortunately has a motorboat, to confirm the time that we, our wives and four of our closest friends will meet at the boat ramp and motor out to the island. The boat will be filled with a cooler of beverages and plump shrimp for a shrimp boil, other delicious food, and lawn chairs. We won’t need

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basking on the beach, pressures pushed aside. I can see myself lying in the warm, soft sand with the hot sun penetrating its warmth deep into my bones. I will be happy, and the thought of winter will be a million miles away.

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anything else, except an ipod that will play Jimmy Buffet, Kenny Chesney and, of course, a little Bob Marley over the boat’s sound system. I can imagine the look of surprise on their faces when they see the island and realize that care-free coastal relaxation is possible so close to home. I can visualize a day of

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beach. I open my map book and search for the island. As I focus on the map and see the blue of the water and green of the shoreline, my mind carries me back to the river, and I can see myself paddling upon it, the warm sun on my neck, the cool waves splashing across my bow. This is the place, I tell myself, where I will make the most of the first warm weekend of the spring. Normally, I kayak alone because I enjoy the solitude of the river and being able to soak in the sounds and sights of nature, which quiet my mind. But this trip will involve friends. The funny thing about midwinter in Minnesota is that many of us hibernate in our homes after the hectic holiday season to recharge. It seems like a long time since we’ve simply relaxed with our friends and I long for their company. I hatch a plan of how I will reserve this little piece of paradise, which is a very non-descript marking on the map. On a Thursday night, I will paddle out to the island and set up a tent and

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B ack in Time

Your community news and information source

They came from everywhere Lois Glewwe Contributor


always smile when I read the names of South St. Paul High School students who receive scholarships from the South St. Paul Educational Foundation every spring. I’m amused because so many of the students have last names that are the same as many names that were found in my own graduating class of over 40 years ago. It’s also surprising to me how many of those last names continue to reflect South St. Paul’s origins in Serbia, Croatia, Romania and Poland, due to the large number of immigrants who came to the city from the Balkan countries of Europe between the late 1890s and early 1920s. Attracted by the offer of employment in

the livestock industry, many young men made the journey to America alone. They lived in big, rambling boarding houses that sprang up along Concord Street, and saved the money they earned in the slaughterhouses to fulfill their dream of sending for their siblings, wives and children once they had enough money in the bank. The new immigrants tended to live, work and play with others from their own country. They could relax with each other, speak their native language and share reminiscences of what was commonly called “The Old Country.” At the same time, one of the priorities common among them was the desire to learn to speak English and become an American citizen. Citizenship and English classes were

held at night at the high school and hundreds of South St. Paul people eagerly attended. When families arrived from Europe with children, the parents were certain to want their children to start school as soon as possible. They wanted them to learn to read and write in English so that they would feel like Americans and fit into the culture of their new country. Still, the music, costumes, language, food and culture of their home country were loved and remembered and honored. Three of the main immigrant groups had their own church, and three had their own social halls that were open to members. The Polish Hall was built in 1911 at 622 First Ave. S. It served as a meeting spot, bar, reception hall

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This group of children posed on the front steps of the Serbian Home at 404 Third Ave. S. in South St. Paul. The St. Sava Serbian Benevolent Society was formed in 1909 and built its social hall in 1923. The adults in the top row are, left to right, Jovo Makevich, Rev. Jovan Dovodoff, the Very Rev. Z. Ristorovich, Katherine Bogatich and Jovan Dovidoff. Today, the Serbian Home is on the National Register of Historic Places, reflecting the significance of South St. Paul’s rich ethnic heritage. and gathering place until it was replaced with two one-bedroom apartments in 1962. The basement of the building has remained in use by the Zagloba Society of the Polish National Alliance. In 1941, the Society was able to build its own parish: Holy Trinity Catholic Church, located at 745 Sixth Ave. S. Immigrants from Serbia began meeting officially in 1909 when they created the St. Sava Serbian Benevolent Society. By 1923 they had grown in numbers and resources and built the Serbian Home at 404 Third Ave. S. It was 1953 when the Serbian Society dedicated its church, St. Sava, at 357 Second Ave. S. Today, the Serbian Home is on the National Register of Historic Places, although it no longer has a liquor license, and parking restrictions prohibit

its use for public gatherings. It is lovingly cared for by Ted Trkla, who is the curator of the massive collection of art and artifacts are housed in the historic building. The Croatians formed the Hsvatski Dom Association in 1918 and built the Croatian Hall at 445 Second Ave. S. the following year. Today, the “Cro Hall” is the site of community meetings, political events, banquets, wedding receptions, high school reunions, Sarma suppers and family gatherings. The first Romanians came to South St. Paul by 1904. They formed two organizations — the Alexandru Cel Bun (Alexander the Good) in 1918 and the Clubul National Roman (Romanian National Club) in 1922. As the community grew, they became determined to establish a parish. The

Romanian National Club initiated the efforts, organizing in 1923. They purchased land and build the Byzantine style St. Stefan’s Romanian Orthodox Church at 350 Fifth Ave. N. in 1924. The church hosts Romanian dinners and continues to celebrate and treasure its historic building and faith traditions. The largest immigrant group to arrive in South St. Paul in the 1850s and 1860s was from Germany. Of course, many other groups from Europe, including the Irish, made up significant numbers in the early city. It was the people of the Balkans, however, who left an indelible mark on the city through the many unusual names still found in any South St. Paul phone directory or on a list of high school graduates.


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SSP March 2011  

IN THIS ISSUE... Buy Local / Page 2 Page 11 Marie Avenue, which has several smaller, independent businesses, has the traditional Main Street...

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