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May 2010 Volume 7 Number 5

IN THIS ISSUE... • • • •

River Connections.. ...................... page 4 Sample St. Paul............................ page 6 Community Columns.................. page 8 Back in Time.. ............................ page 12

Lincoln Center students have international experience Page 3

Improvements planned for Great River Park Photo by Marina Castillo

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Lorraine Swanger, Ruth Beckstrom, John Kemp and Bernadette Eiffler stand among merchandise for The Clothes Closet, a program of Neighbors, Inc. This program occupies 1,200 square feet, but has three times as much clothing in storage.

Tight quarters has SSP social service agency looking for a new location Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


sually, when an organization grows to the extent that it needs more space, it’s a time to celebrate. Growth equals success. In the case of Neighbors, Inc., the details are bittersweet. The South St. Paul social services agency, founded when the meat packing plants began to close, has indeed been successful in providing food, clothing and many other services to thousands of people in need since opening in 1972. However, the number of people needing help in today’s economy has the highly respected nonprofit agency bursting at the seams. For the first time in 25 years, it

is actively looking for a larger building to accommodate the burgeoning demand for help. “Back in 1985, if we got 40 food shelf clients a month, it seemed like a lot,” said John Kemp, executive director. By 2002 the number of families visiting the food shelf had risen to 200 a month. “I never forgot that ‘oh my goodness’ moment, wondering if this was an anomaly or a trend,” he said. “The food shelf is considered the bellwether of future activity.” He watched over the next six months as the numbers steadily crept upward. And they didn’t stop. By 2007, nearly 15,000 people had been served, and volunteers had devoted 22,300

hours to the organization. The agency has been located on 13th Avenue South in South St. Paul since 1985. In its early years, the 10,400-squarefoot building was sufficient to assist with the food, clothing and other needs of clientele from Northern Dakota County. “Last fall,” said Kemp, “the board of directors began to look seriously and urgently at a capital campaign to raise money for a new site with double the square footage of the present site. Space was affecting everything in a negative way.” In its mission to reduce poverty, promote self-sufficiency and build community, Neighbors,

Inc. provides a variety of emergency and supportive services, including a food shelf, a thrift store called the Clothes Closet, a limited number of emergency federal and county grants to help prevent eviction and utility shut-off, assist with car repairs and, occasionally, medical needs. It also offers transportation assistance and a program called Tele-Care, in which check-up calls are made daily to ensure the well-being of the elderly. Since space is scarce for furniture, a matching program was devised to transfer donors’ furniture directly into the hands of those in need. Nutrition and food assistance is

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B usiness

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Neighbors Move from page 1

available for seniors, and an end of the year holiday program has become very popular, serving 900 families last year. The economic slowdown has exacerbated the growing problem of families struggling to make ends meet. “People using the services are from across the board, with one third Latino, one third Caucasian and one third primarily a mix of African, Russian and Middle Eastern folks,” said Kemp. “We are seeing strong families who have lost jobs and can’t find work. They have exhausted savings and unemployment. Just six years ago, they came for emergency food, and were expected to get back on their feet. Now, more residents need assistance on a more consistent basis. There is a growing number of first time clients and an increase in repeat clients.”

Intake workers, who generally have college degrees or other experience in human services, consider the need for food assistance a symptom of a larger problem. To promote self-sufficiency, they ask questions to find out what happened to the money previously spent on food. Was it used for rent? Does the client need more affordable housing? They take steps to help solve some of these problems. But with cramped quarters it has become more difficult to efficiently work with the growing number of needy. “The Clothes Closet has 1,200 square feet,” said Kemp. “There is three times as much (clothing) in storage as there is on the floor. The racks are crammed. It’s difficult to shop. The food shelf also has 1,200 square feet. To fill orders for the next day, baskets are lined up in the narrow aisles making it difficult to move around. The

holiday program has had to borrow or rent space to accommodate all the families and volunteers. Tele-Care is done out of volunteers’ homes. There is no room for it on site. I would love to have them here with the rest of the staff.” Kemp can’t say enough about the army of volunteers, who he said really keep the organization running. The latest count is over 500 workers giving of their time. “We have an awfully good staff and volunteers,” he said. “They are very flexible and adaptable and hardworking. It was the volunteers that wanted to extend the Clothes Closet hours on Saturday and Wednesdays.” Volunteers outfit kids for back to school, and adults for job interviews. Kemp recalls a young woman who came to the store for wedding attire. With the help of enthusiastic volunteers, she left the store with a dress,


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Last year, Kemp recalled, a little boy needed shoes. His father was distraught because finding the right size had become difficult. To make matters worse, the child wanted cowboy boots. Ninety-three-yearold Virginia Milbert, who has managed the Clothes Closet since it opened, knew of a pair tucked away in storage. She dug around and found them. Amazingly, they were the perfect size. matching purse, shoes and jewelry, all for $8. Last year, Kemp recalled, a little boy needed shoes. His father was distraught because finding the right size had become difficult. To make matters worse, the child wanted cowboy boots. Ninety-three-yearold Virginia Milbert, who has managed the Clothes Closet since it opened, knew of a pair tucked away in storage. She dug around and found them. Amazingly, they were the perfect size. “The kid was beaming like the Split Rock lighthouse!” said Kemp. Volunteers come from churches and businesses, including 3M, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and Thomson Reuters. College and high school students can get community service hours at Neighbors, Inc. At Christmas time, St. Paul Hotel employees have a baking night at the hotel when dozens and dozens of cookies are made, decorated and delivered

to Neighbors, Inc. for its holiday program. “It’s a little touch of something extra for the folks at the holiday party,” said Kemp. The agency began in 1972 in South St. Paul in response to the beginning of the end of the meat packing industry. With the majority of the 9,000 out-of-work laborers coming from South St. Paul, six local churches joined to start an assistance program, naming it Neighbors, Inc. It was run by volunteers and was open two hours, twice a week, with food available at the churches. Space was later found at one of the senior high rise buildings in town. Then the Horst family at Globe Publishing provided room. Before moving to its current location 25 years ago, volunteers lugged clothes up and down the stairs because the Clothes Closet was never on the main floor. “It would be hard to

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Page 2 - South St. Paul Voice - May 2010

leave South St. Paul,” said Kemp. “There is such great support from the churches, businesses, the school district and local government. That type of support is not as deep and solidly founded in the other communities.” Since most of Neighbors, Inc.’s clients come from Inver Grove Heights, West St. Paul and South St. Paul, a new location would probably be in one of these three cities because, as Kemp said, it is imperative that the new site be easily accessible to those who currently use the organization’s services. Kemp has high hopes and a vision. “With a new building, we could possibly partner with a YMCA or Boys Club or daycare center,” he said. “We won’t rush in. We want to take our time to do it right. We want a building or property that will serve our clients for the foreseeable future.”

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N ews Briefs

Your community news and information source

World Cultures Day at Lincoln Center Elementary

In early April, Lincoln Center Elementary School students learned about daily life in other cultures by meeting with 32 international speakers — natives of Armenia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Chile, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lebanon, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Senegal, Tajikistan, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. The international guests rotated throughout classrooms to show students their native dress and artifacts and speak about their culture. Each student received a “passport” stamped from each country.

Library happenings won a 2009 Minnesota The library will offer many free programs all summer for all ages. Registration begins the week of June 7. For more information on the following South St. Paul library events, call 651554-3240 or visit www. • Author Appearance - For May’s book discussion, author Julie Kramer will join us on at 7 p.m., May 20, to field questions that address her life as a journalist as well as her debut novel “Stalking Susan.” This mystery focuses on Riley Spartz, a television journalist in Minneapolis, who discovers that a serial killer is murdering women named Susan on the same day each year. This book

Book Award and The Romantic Times Award for Best First Mystery. It was also a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark, the Anthony, the Barry, and the Shamus awards. The newest book in the series, “Silencing Sam,” is due out in June. The author is a career television news producer who ran the I-Team at WCCO-TV and now reports as a freelancer for NBC and CBS. Kramer grew up on a corn and cattle farm along the Minnesota-Iowa border that’s been in her family more than 130 years. “The Bookmobile was very important to me when I was growing up,” she said. “I’m always happy to talk about how

will be available in the library meeting room between 1 and 3 p.m., Tues., May 25, to answer basic questions about these software programs, Internet Explorer and the web, e-mail, etc. • Read to Caesar or Lulu – Kids can have a “pawsitive” experience by reading to Lulu and Caesar, two Reading Education Assistance Dogs (READ) who come with impressive credentials and lovable personalities. Lulu is at the library on Saturdays, 1:302:30 p.m., while Caesar is available Thursdays, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Contact the library if you are interested in having your child participate. Holiday closings – The library will be closed

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from Chicago,” by Richard Peck, which follows the summer adventures of brother and sister Joe and Mary Alice who go to stay with their oddball Grandma Dowdel. Students ages 10 to 12 are invited to discuss this book at 4 p.m., Mon.,  May 3. Refreshments and activities will be provided. Teen Book Club - “A Great and Terrible Beauty,” by Libba Bray, will be discussed at 4 p.m., Fri., May 7. This club is for teens ages 12-18. Refreshments will be provided. Teens participating in the summer reading club will receive weekly prizes and enter drawings for bigger prizes. Registration is June 14-18.

libraries create authors.” The event is free and open to the public. The author will be available to sign books following her presentation. • Drop-In Computer Help – Still not clear on cutting and pasting in Word? Having a little trouble with Excel? Staff

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Mon., May 31, in observance of Memorial Day. The last Saturday the library will be open for the season is 10 a.m.-4 p.m., May 22. Saturday hours will resume on Sept. 11. Summer Reading Club – “Make a Splash @ Your Library” by joining the Summer Reading Club. Members receive cool prizes and incentives, many from local businesses, just for reading. The Children’s Librarian will visit local schools in May to speak with children about the program and distribute bookmarks and calendars of events. Calendars will also be available at the library. Junior Book Club The title discussed in May is “A Long Way

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R iver Connections

Your community news and information source

New projects planned for Great River Park Tim Spitzack Editor


uring the recent flood, I visited Harriet Island daily until the river’s crest to see the effects of the rising tide. It was breathtaking to see the powerful movement of the impregnated river as it jumped its banks and reclaimed its natural floodplain. And I was not alone. Scores of others witnessed this natural phenomenon. We were able to get close to the river thanks to St. Paul’s commitment to its parks system. According to the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation, St. Paul boasts more parkland along the Mississippi River than any other river town. The capital city has 26 miles of shoreline, 3,500 acres of parkland, 16 public

parks and over 25 miles of trails. These natural amenities are part of a greater effort called the Great River Park, a concept introduced in 2006 to link existing parkland within the river corridor, thus making it “more natural, more urban and more connected.” It’s a movement that has its roots in the environmental efforts of the late 1970s and 1980s to clean up the river and its banks, which at the time showed massive signs of abuse and neglect. In St. Paul, much progress has been made in the past decade. For example, if you stand in the center of Raspberry Island and take a panoramic survey of the landscape around you, you’ll see a grand example of what is taking place. This small park, located within Harriet

Island Regional Park, is a shining example of today’s modern riverfront park. It has native plantings, a walking path, benches from which to enjoy the river and its surroundings, and riprap, natural materials used along its shoreline to help prevent erosion. On May 13, the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation will host its annual Great River Gathering at the St. Paul RiverCentre to celebrate the progress that has been made along the riverfront and to garner support for new projects to help residents and visitors become more connected to our national treasure, the Mississippi River. For more information on this event, call 651-293-6860 or visit

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Raspberry Island, located within Harriet Island Regional Park, is a shining example of today’s modern riverfront park. As spring melts into summer, more and more people find their way outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, the budding trees and flowers, and all that nature has to offer. And many, of course, are drawn to area parks. Parks are expensive endeavors — the renovation of Raspberry Island used $5 million in state funding — but offer intangible benefits that few deny or want to live without. Minnesota voters have shown their commitment to parks by accepting new taxes. In 2008, the state approved the Legacy Act Tax, a three-eighths of one percent sales tax enacted until the year 2034 for the environment and the arts. According to research from the Trust for Public Land, city parks and


open spaces improve our physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities, and make our cities and neighborhoods safer and more attractive places to live and work. This research is available at

1Mississippi campaign

The Riverfront Corporation is a member of the Mississippi River Network, a coalition of organizations among the ten states along the river that works to protect the land, water and resources within the river corridor. The Network has launched a nationwide campaign entitled 1Mississippi to help people better experience the river and understand the need to protect it for future generations. The campaign highlights



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ways people depend on the river, such as drinking water, transportation and recreation, and promotes ways to reduce pollution, protect habitat and improve public access.

New developments in Great River Park

One of the newest proposed developments in the Great River Park is the creation of a park on the site of Xcel Energy’s former coal power plant, located near the Smith Avenue High Bridge. Before Xcel opened its new natural gas plant in May 2008, it began developing plans to restore the riverfront site of the former plant to make approximately 35 acres available for public use for the next 20 years while it explores its long-term needs for the property. It has been working with the St. Paul Riverfront Corporation, Great River Greening and others to develop a reuse plan. The plan is expected to be completed this summer. Another new development in the Great River Park affects Lilydale Regional Park in St. Paul. In January, the Metropolitan Council approved a new master plan for the park, which paves the way for improvements. The project has received $1.4 million from Legacy Act funds for environmental cleanup.

N ews Briefs Park and Rec summer programs

The South St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department is accepting registration for summer programs. A large variety of activities and programs are available for all ages including summer playgrounds, day camps, preschool programs, youth trips, outdoor swimming lessons, outdoor pool passes and more. The Summer Edition 1 Brochure is available online along with online registration at For more information, call the Parks and Rec Department at 651-306-3690.

Fare for All Express

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. Fare For All Express will be held 4-6 p.m., May 4 and June 1 at Central Square Community Center, 100 7th Ave. N. For more information, call 651-306-3690.

Kaposia Landing Dog Park pass

Sign up now for membership to the Kaposia Landing Off-Leash Dog Park, North Concord Street and Bryant Avenue. The park is 6.3 acres featuring a fully fenced perimeter, bull pen entry and exit area, two shelters

Your community news and information source with picnic tables, Mutt Mitt waste disposal stations, trash containers and an information/bulletin board kiosk. Dog Park users must purchase a yearly membership for $20. Funds go toward supporting the park’s ongoing development. Members receive an identification tag required for using the park. Membership forms are available at and at the Parks and Rec Office, 100 7th Ave. N. For more information, call 651-306-3690.

formation, contact John Lynch at 651-459-1310 or lynch0319@gmail. com.

Reception for retiring Kaposia Education Center principal

A community reception for John Laliberte, principal at Kaposia Education Center who is retiring at the end of this school year, will be held at 5 p.m., Thurs., May 27, at Southview Country Club in West St. Paul. Laliberte has been

Outdoor pool passes

Summer season passes are on sale now for South St. Paul’s two outdoor pools (Splash Pool at Lorraine Park, Fourth Avenue South & Seventh Street; and Northview Pool, 635 – 18th Ave. N.). The pools will be open June 12 through Aug. 22. Season passes for 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 for the pools is $3.50, and 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 – 7th Ave. N. For more information, call the Parks and Recreation Department at 651-306-3690 or log on to the City’s website at

Highground Memorial fundraiser

Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 639 of South St. Paul is seeking cash and merchandise donations for its fundraiser, to 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 in-

with the district for 32 years. He has served as assistant principal and principal at Kaposia, and prior to that was a social studies teacher and dean at South St. Paul High School. Laliberte also coached senior high  basketball, junior high softball and football and was advisor to the Senior Council, Student Council and Key Club. He also founded South St. Paul Youth Leadership, a program that provides students with mentoring, community involvement

and leadership training. For more information on the event, call Kelly at the Kaposia Education Center office at 651-4519260.

Neighbors, Inc. Garage sale

Neighbors, Inc., 218 13th Ave. S., is hosting a garage sale 10 a.m.-4 p.m., May 5-6. All proceeds support programs at Neighbors.

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S ample St. Paul

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Festival of Nations

Festival of Nations, one of the country’s longest running multicultural celebrations, is presented April 29-May 2 at the St. Paul RiverCentre. This year’s theme — Folklore, Legends and Heroes — will be explored in over 55 exhibits. Now in its 78th year, this family-friendly festival brings together people from a vast array of backgrounds to celebrate their ethnic heritage, and provides an opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation of other cultures. Through exhibits, food, music and dance, Festival of Nations provides a look into the traditions, history and journey of over 90 ethnic groups, and sheds light on how each one contributes to the American cultural landscape. New this year is the Minnesota Planetarium’s ExploraDome, a portable mini-planetarium, and a naturalization ceremony, which will take place at 6 p.m., Fri.,

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s ‘South Pacific’ is presented May 4-16 at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts. The score includes such classics as ‘Some Enchanted Evening,’ ‘Younger Than Springtime,’ ‘Bali Ha’i,’ ‘There is Nothin’ Like A Dame’ and ‘A Wonderful Guy.’

Ordway Center for Performing Arts

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “South Pacific” is presented May 4-16 at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul. Winner of seven 2008 Tony Awards and considered by some to be the finest musical ever written, the score includes such classics as “Some Enchanted Evening,” “Younger Than Springtime,” “Bali Ha’i,” “There is Nothin’ Like A Dame” and “A Wonderful Guy.” Tickets are $27$75. For more information, call the box office at 651-224-4222.

History Theatre

April 30. Participants may shop for imported gifts, including clothing, jewelry and artifacts from many cultures, at the Interna-

tional Bazaar, and enjoy fare from around the world at 35 different ethnic food cafés. Proceeds from each café benefit a non-profit organization.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $7 for children ages 5-16 and free for children ages 4 and under with adult admission. For more information,

call the International Institute of Minnesota at 651-647-0191, or visit www.festivalofnations. com.

“Queens of Burlesque” is presented through May 23, at the History Theatre, 30 E. Tenth St. This performance is a funny, poignant and revealing look at the lives of burlesque performers, both on- and off-stage, during the Twin Cities’ burlesque theater scene of the 1950s. As

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Children’s Museum “Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice” is presented through May 31, 10 W. Seventh St. This exhibit will transport families back to the Cretaceous Period (145 - 65 million years ago) to explore dinosaur habitats and understand how these mysterious animals lived. “Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China” is presented through May 16. This exhibit is designed to engage children and families in learning about one of the oldest civilizations – and now among the most modern in the world – through some of its young people. Tickets are $8.95. For more information, call 651-2256000.

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Tour” at 7 p.m., Fri., May 7. Tickets are $27$61.50. Iconic folk-rock duo Simon & Garfunkel will perform at 8 p.m., Sat., May 8. Tickets are $52$227. Smucker’s Stars on Ice Tour, featuring America’s top Olympic stars, is presented Sun., May 9. Doors open at 3 p.m. Tickets are $27-$82. Brooks & Dunn will present their farewell tour, “Last Rodeo,” with special guest Jason Aldean, at 7:30 p.m., Fri., May 14. Tickets are $25$65. Recording artists Carole King and James Taylor will present the “Troubadour Reunion” tour at 8 p.m., Tues., May 25. Tickets are $67$97. The Xcel Center is located at 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. For more information, visit www.

Park Square Theatre “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” is presented through May 2, 20 W. 7th Place. All Jean wants to do is stop the ringing cell phone of the man sitting (quietly) next to her. Boldly choosing to

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answer it may end up being the best thing that happens to her. In this quirky modern adventure, Jean reconnects to her own spirit and learns, from a dead man, that life is for the living. “The Diary of Anne Frank” is presented through May 7. 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 $36-$40 for adults, $31-$35 for seniors and $15 for age 30 and under. For more information, call 651-2917005.

Science Museum “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 new 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.

Minnesota 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 .


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South St. Paul Voice - May 2010 - Page 7 4/14/10 4:24 PM

C ommunity Organizations

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General Cleanser

Sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge and use to clean rings around the tub or soap scum in the sink. The paste will also remove scuffs and marks on painted or wallpapered walls. For stubborn stains in sinks or on countertops, make a paste of baking soda and water and let it sit for 15 minutes before scrubbing.

The South St. Paul Mayor’s Youth Task Force recently presented a Town Hall Meeting on “Going Green” in South St. Paul. One portion of the meeting offered recipes for “green” cleaning products that include ingredients found in most kitchens. Since the live broadcast of the meeting, the Task Force has received phone calls for these recipes, so we decided to share some with you.

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Spray Cleaner

Mix ¾ cup of baking soda, ¼ cup of salt and ¼ cup of water. Spray the inside of the cold oven lightly with water and spread the paste over the interior (but not the heating elements) and don’t let the paste clog the openings. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight and then carefully remove the paste and wipe clean.

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This can be made largely from two ingredients: white vinegar and baking soda. Add either to water for a simple, inexpensive cleaning solution. White vinegar has strong stain-removing powers and can be used regularly. The smell generally dissipates when it is dry, but you can mix in essential oils, like lavender or eucalyptus, for a more pleasant scent. Use a spray bottle to apply it directly to stains, or use in a steam cleaner in lieu of a commercial solution. Baking soda can be mixed with water or simply sprinkled on the carpet. Wait 15 to 30 minutes and then vacuum to remove odors from the carpet fibers.

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When combined with baking soda, white vinegar can keep drains running well. Vinegar is acidic, so it dissolves soap scum and grease. It will not stain porous surfaces and although the smell may remind you of coloring Easter Eggs, once the spray has dried, the smell will disappear. Mix one cup of water with one cup of vinegar in a spray bottle and use it as a gentle cleaner for lightly soiled surfaces such as counters and cabinets – you do not need to rinse, just let it dry. If you have more difficult strains to deal with, make it with warm water and let it sit on the stain before scrubbing.

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Take a quartered lemon and grind it in the garbage disposal to clean and deodorize. It will make the entire kitchen smell fresh.

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If you have rust stains in your sink or bathroom, sprinkle the stain with salt and squeeze a lemon over the salt. Let it sit for several hours and then scrub it clean.

Grout Cleaner

Grout that has mold can be cleaned by squeezing lemon juice on it. Let it sit for 30 minutes, then scrub it off.

Furniture Polish

Make furniture polish with 1 cup of oil, and ½ cup of lemon juice. Many recipes call for olive oil, but regular mineral oil is safer to use and will not turn rancid like some oils can.

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Ketchup isn’t just for French fries anymore. To keep your copper pots, pans and accents looking bright and shiny, try rubbing with ketchup. If you have more ideas on how your family, organization or business is “going green,” send them to deb. and we’ll add them to the South St. Paul Mayor’s Youth Task Force Going Green section at

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Food & Drink Specials Lunch Special - 75¢ Chili Dogs and 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 - Texas Hold 'em at 7 pm, free to play. $100 cash 1st place; 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 Fri - open until 2 am, 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. Page 8 - South St. Paul Voice - May 2010

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Neighbors, Inc. My wife and I spent some time in Florida during March. We went By John Kemp there to get away from Executive Director of the cold and the dampNeighbors, Inc. ness of late winter in Minnesota. Instead we found temperatures that ranged from 10 to 15 degrees below normal. In fact, an article in the St. Petersburg Times on the first day of spring said it had been the coldest winter on the Gulf Coast in 96 years. Good timing on our part! The place we go to is about 30 miles north of Tampa. It’s not a place where vacationers go; it’s primarily residential with a lot of retirees who have moved there either part-time or full-time, and a pretty steady yeararound population. The Tampa Bay area has been hit pretty hard by the recession. Unemployment is between 13 and 14 percent and, if you believe the local news media, there’s no near-term relief in sight. State government is wres-

Jennifer L. Gale, president

Quality Auto Care Center named Small Business of the Year

Quality Auto Care Center of South St. Paul received the 2010 Small Business of the Year Award from the River Heights Chamber of Commerce. Owner Bruce Bairaktaris accepted the award at the Chamber’s Small Business Award Luncheon in late April. The recipient is selected by the Chamber’s recognition committee after careful review of all nominees’ applications. The award acknowledges an organization that has a commitment to the community through its involvement and assistance to community organizations, a commitment to its employees and focus on innovative employee programs, and a commitment to excellence in service, business ethics,

friendliness and business operations. The committee found that Quality Auto Care Center goes above and beyond in all of these areas. Bruce Bairaktaris was working for Quality Brake & Muffler in 2004, when employees wanted to rename the business to Quality Auto Care Center to let their customers know they were a full-service auto repair shop. Bruce took over ownership of Quality Auto Care Center in Aug. 2006. The shop, located at 100 S. Concord Exchange, began by providing custom exhausts and general repair but expanded its services to include engine, transmission, tire repair and replacement, hitches and towing. Bruce knows that quality staff makes

Your community news and information source tling with a huge budget deficit (sound familiar?) and local governmental units are faring no better. Because the winter was so much colder than normal, many families experienced a significant increase in their utility bills. In a normal winter they would use the heating units in their homes only occasionally. This winter they had their units on most of the time and suddenly, a bill that they’ve always been able to manage, became a tremendous burden. As we drove around the area, I was amazed at the number of people standing on street corners, or in the medians of major street intersections, with signs asking passersby for help. “Being evicted; please help.” Or, “Electricity being shut off; please help.” Some days it seemed like there was someone standing at every intersection we came to. As I observed these people in their rather desperate plight, I thought about how fortunate we are to live in a community where there is a higher emphasis on assistance to people finding themselves in financial crisis. For one thing, in Minnesota we have the “cold weather rule.” While this rule is not intended to absolve people from the responsibility of paying their utility bill, it does make it more difficult for the power companies to shut people off during the winter months. We also have a well-developed network of organizations like Neighbors, community-based social service organizations that serve as the conduit between those

for a quality work environment. He currently employs four full-time employees and offers substantial benefits. The company believes their customers expect, deserve and receive the highest level of care. They want their customers to know they have been treated honestly and fairly. In fact, some customers travel longer distances simply because they know they will be treated right. Many of Quality Auto Care Center’s fleet accounts use them because of their efficiency, work ethic, honesty and commitment to quality. Their shop has a “can do” attitude and will get you in, even in emergencies, so you can get back on the road. Quality Auto Care Center is actively involved in the community and believes in giving back. Bruce has been very active in the River Heights Chamber, yet also finds time to support his church, Inver Grove Heights and South St. Paul sports programs and community events, the VFW, Neighbors Inc., Guild Incorporated, DARTS and several other organizations. In 2009, Bruce joined the

who need assistance and those who want to help others. There is nothing magic about Neighbors; we only do what people in our community enable us to do. And that, more than anything else, is what seemed to be missing in Florida, at least in the area we visited. I didn’t find organizations like Neighbors that were organized to pull together the community’s resources to better serve people in need. But I also didn’t find very many people who seemed to be concerned enough to want to do something about it. It made me ever so much more grateful for the compassion and generosity of the people of our community here in Northern Dakota County. Yes, there are a lot of people in our neighborhoods who are experiencing tough times, just as in Florida. And yes, our state is in a difficult financial bind, and that pain is being felt by all in many ways, just as in Florida. But we have one thing that they don’t have in Florida, and that’s you, the people of Northern Dakota County. People who care about others and who are willing to share what they have in order to improve the life of someone less fortunate. And for that, I say, “Thank You, Lord. Thank you for the privilege of living in a community surrounded by such a compassionate, caring and generous people.” And thank you, each and every one of you, who by your gifts of time, talent or money help us at Neighbors continue to serve our neighbors.

Submitted photo

The staff at Quality Auto Care Center in South St. Paul Chamber’s board of directors and participates in many of its meetings and events. Quality Auto Care Center has had steady growth since 2006. After three and a half years, Bruce is on pace to achieve his goal of 50 percent growth over five years. “The River Heights Chamber of Commerce brought me out of my shell,” he said, “and I attribute most of my company’s growth to the word-of-mouth marketing and satisfied custom-

ers becoming evangelists for my company. I strongly believe the Chamber has given me the tools to grow, such as networking opportunities, advertising in Chamber publications and personal friendships.” Bruce has also received many individual awards from the River Heights Chamber for his involvement, including the Rising Star Award in 2007, Ambassador of the Year from 2007-2009, and is looking forward to being a graduate of the Dakota

County Leadership Academy this May. True business leadership like that of Quality Auto Care Center not only finds a way to make a profit, but does so while adhering to high ethical standards. The Chamber is proud to honor and congratulate Quality Auto Care Center as its 2010 Small Business of the Year. For more information on the award, contact the River Heights Chamber of Commerce at 651-451-2266 or visit

South St. Paul Voice - May 2010 - Page 9

C inco de Mayo

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Minnesota’s Spiciest Celebration is coming to a location near you Make the trip down Concord for great food and festive fun during the popular Cinco de Mayo Fiesta Susan Klemond Contributor


inco de Mayo Fiesta organizers are introducing some new attractions to this year’s fiesta, which will run 4 p.m.-9 p.m., Fri,, May 7, and 9 a.m.- 6 p.m., Sat., May 8, in District del Sol on St. Paul’s West Side, on six blocks along Cesar Chavez and Wabasha streets, between Highway 52 and Plato Boulevard. Parking will be available for $6 in lots near the festival. Local youth will staff the parking lots and part of the proceeds will go to youth organizations. Visitors are encouraged to take public transit if possi-

ble because parking will be in short supply. For transit information, visit or call 612-373-3333 for bus times and stops near the fiesta. For complete event details, visit www. html.

Green Zone

New this year is the “zero waste” Green Zone. The zone will consist of a one-block area around Wabasha and Cesar Chavez that fiesta attendees will be encouraged to keep free of food and other types of waste in order to raise awareness of recycling and environmental issues, said Brian Gioielli, marketing manager for the Riverview Economic Development Association (REDA), which organizes the twoday event. Whether in the Green Zone or not, fiesta-goers

Page 10 - South St. Paul Voice - May 2010

can help continue the environmental and recycling success of recent years, Gioielli said. “Cinco de Mayo Fiesta has been a leader in the past few years (in its environmental efforts) for a festival of its size and capacity,” he said. “We hope this can continue with the Green Zone this year.” Also, new this year, fiesta-goers will have a chance to hear a popular Mexican band, see a collection of photos of the West Side contributed by area residents, sample new snacks and more.

Top entertainment

On its first tour of the Midwest, the band Los Kapsi will headline Saturday’s music offerings. Playing tierra caliente, a mix of durangueño and norteño music, the band appeals to several generations. Music lovers also

can take in salsa, hiphop, reggae and traditional dance groups. “A lot of people come to Cinco de Mayo Fiesta to hear the music,” Gioielli said. “They won’t be disappointed.” The El Rio Stage at Robert and Cesar Chavez streets will provide additional entertainment.

New food, hot food

Vendors will offer more authentic Hispanic/Latino food this year, as well as other ethnic dishes. El Burrito Mercado and Boca Chica Restaurante will introduce new foods. Those inclined toward the spicy will have an additional opportunity to enter the jalapeño eating contest at the Boca Chica Stage on Saturday. Because of popular demand, an extra “heat” has been added to the contest.

Photo exhibit

Visitors to the History Area will have a chance to see more of the West Side in photos taken by

Photo by Dusty Hoskovec

the people who live there. An exhibit of photos submitted by local residents, some including the stories behind them, will be displayed during the fiesta.

Hydraulics show in a new location

Fiesta-goers interested in a powerful car and truck show on Friday evening will find the Hydraulics Showcase in a new place this year: the parking lot of the Ken Yackel West Side Arena parking lot, 44 E. Isabel.

New button offers style, value

Not only does this year’s button qualify its bearer for fiesta prizes and discounts at District del Sol and other local businesses during the month of May, it also has a new, unique design. The colorful rectangular button with “serape” blanket stripes is available for $2. Youth groups and nonprofits also can sell the buttons as a fundraiser. For details and to learn about button discounts, visit www.districtdelsol. com/cinco.html.

B ack in Time Back in Time from page 12

recognition for South St. Paul as an All-America City. On May 17, 1990, the group was informed that its application had made the first cut and was one of 30 cities invited to send representatives to Phoenix, Ariz., to present their case in person. A flurry of activity resulted in raising money to get the group to Phoenix, as well as the selection of Darrol Bussler, then director of Community Education, to write the script and choreograph the public presentation. Three projects were identified to promote South St. Paul: The Year Long Centennial Celebration in 1987; The Armour Redevelopment Initiative; and the creation of R.E.A.P. and its promotion of the river trail. The overall theme of the presentation was “The Spirit of the Eagle,” and local artist Betty Thompson designed the image of the eagle that became the central visual graphic of the sound and slide show that accompanied the presentation in Phoenix in June 1990. Competition was stiff but South St. Paul prevailed and was named one of the 10 outstanding All-America Cities in 1990. The community embraced the award with a large celebration at South St. Paul High School, a special Spirit of the Eagle dinner at the V.F.W. with National Civic League president Henry Cisneros as guest speaker, and with the creation of citywide banners, signage and All-America City promotional items. It would take many more months before the effort to stop the switching yard expansion was successful and it was not until 1997 that the official groundbreaking ceremony for the South St. Paul portion of the Dakota County Regional Trail took place. Many challenges have been encountered while the community has continued the transition from being a place known only for heavy industry and

Your community news and information source stockyards to a city on the Mississippi where the river trail, the railroad, the eagles’ nests, the barges and the dog park

all come together to create a unique experience for residents and visitors alike.

High School Teachers

Open positions for the 2010-11 school year: • 9th Grade Math Teacher- MN Teaching License required • 9th Grade English Teacher -MN Teaching License required • K-12 Physical Education/Activities Director

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Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Civil East Construction Sub Bid Date: May 11, 2010 at 2:00 PM CST Bid Amount: $200,000,000.00 Owner – Metropolitan Council Design – AECOM Design Team PCL encourages all MAC/MNDOT DBE subcontractors and suppliers to submit bids for this project. Plans are available for download for $10 at, eBidDoc #: 1098832. Plans are available for viewing at: Minneapolis Builders Exchange, St. Paul Builders Exchange, Reed Construction Data, NAMC-UM Plan Room, FW Dodge Division McGraw Hill, Meda Minority Contractors/AGC of MN Plan Room and PCL’s Burnsville Office. PCL Construction Services, Inc. Attn: Mike Weinmann 12200 Nicollet Avenue South Burnsville, Minnesota 55337 952-882-9600 FAX: 952-882-9900 An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/V/H

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Locations Near You:

Downtown • 5th Ave & Wall St Saturdays, 6am - 1pm • April 24 - Nov 20 Sundays, 8am - 1pm • April 25 - Nov 21 Downtown • 7th Place & Wabasha Tuesdays, 10am - 1:30pm • June 15 - Oct 12 Thursdays, 10am - 1:30pm • June 10 - Oct 21 South Saint Paul • Corner of Marie Ave and 7th Ave Wednesdays, 3pm - 6:30pm • June 23 - Sept 1 Signal Hills Shopping Center • Butler & Robert Street Fridays, 8am - 12pm • June 18 - Oct 29 For a complete schedule of all 19 locations, visit South St. Paul Voice - May 2010 - Page 11

B ack in Time 1990: South St. Paul wins All-America City honor Lois Glewwe Contributor


t was 20 years ago, in 1990, that South St. Paul achieved the first legal public access to the Mississippi River within the city. Political upheaval at City Hall, several town meetings and dozens of carefully negotiated partnerships had paved the way for development of the trail and related recreational and green space on South St. Paul’s riverfront. Serious plans to develop the river trail as part of the Dakota County Regional Trail system began to take shape. There was little time for trail proponents to celebrate this early success, however. It was Mar. 9, 1990, that the South St. Paul City Council first learned of a proposed major expan-

sion of railroad switching operations on the city’s riverfront. The ChicagoNorthwestern Railroad, owners of much of the property that the City was attempting to obtain for the trail, released its plans for the new switching station adjacent to the middle section of the proposed public trail. R.E.A.P., the grassroots citizens’ organization that had been promoting development of the trail, immediately diverted its emphasis to preventing the switching expansion because of concerns about noise, pollution and danger. Residents testified before the city council to explain that current noise levels without the switching yard were often intolerable, causing damage to homes, and rattling shelves, windows and doors. City council votes were often split 4-3 as

those hoping to prevent the expansion prevailed by a slim margin. Even as the often heated meetings and discussions with the railroad continued, several other projects were beginning throughout the community, many inspired by a statewide campaign called Celebrate Minnesota 1990, which provided small grants to communities that applied for improvement funds. The Kaposia Connector Team of R.E.A.P. was inspired by the campaign and began to lay out and clear the trails through the ravines of Kaposia Park. The South St. Paul Jaycees painted the inside of the 1930s pavilion in the park and Court Services did the outside. A new roof was donated, and the first Frisbee golf course was installed by the Parks and Recreation

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South St. Paul was named an All-America City by the National Civic League at the awards ceremony in Phoenix in 1990. Presenters and some spouses, listed with the position they held in 1990, are (front row, L to R): Leslie Metzen, Lois Swanson (R.E.A.P. coordinator); Katherine Trummer (mayor); Betty Thompson (artist and R.E.A.P. Council); David Hohle (chair, R.E.A.P. River Trail Action Team); Roy Swanson; (back row): Darrol Bussler (director, Community Education); Larry Dowell (executive director, South St. Paul/Inver Grove Heights Chamber of Commerce); Forrest Glewwe (Chamber president); Lois Glewwe (South St. Paul city councilmember): Jodelle Ista (South St. Paul city councilmember); and Dave Metzen (superintendent of schools). Department. Voters approved a $975,000 park bond issue in Sept., and the first discussions were held about the creation of a joint South St. Paul/

Inver Grove Heights Park at Seidl’s Lake. One of the most unexpected developments was the return of bald eagles to South St. Paul’s river-

front. The first R.E.A.P. Eagle Watch was held in 1989 when a pair of adult eagles revealed a baby eagle in their nest just across the river from South St. Paul. The next year brought the prospect of a second eagle birth and the event became an annual celebration of river renewal throughout Publica the Twin Cities. Prompted by this everexpanding list of civic improvement projects, Dead volunteers involved with C the local Celebrate Minnesota 1990 CommitteePublis submitted an application to the National Civic League to obtain national




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SSP May 2010  

Improvements planned for Great River Park Lorraine Swanger, Ruth Beckstrom, John Kemp and Bernadette Eiffler stand among merchan- dise for T...

SSP May 2010  

Improvements planned for Great River Park Lorraine Swanger, Ruth Beckstrom, John Kemp and Bernadette Eiffler stand among merchan- dise for T...