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South St. Paul Arts & Entertainment

Marie Ave. Memories

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Volume 15 | Number 2

New WWI exhibit at Lawshe Museum This November marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice of November 1918 that brought an end to World War I. The War – a tumultuous era in history that pitted the world’s greatest economic powers against each other, resulting in more than 16 million military and civilian deaths – had far reaching effects. How it affected people in Dakota County is interpreted in a new exhibit at the Dakota County Historical Society’s Lawshe Memorial Museum, 130 3rd Ave. N., South St. Paul. “Dakota County During World War I” explores the history of the war and its impact locally and abroad. It features more than 10 panels that explain topics ranging from the cause of the war to the role minorities played in it. The museum’s long-standing Old Town exhibit, which includes historic buildings, has been transformed to depict life during that era. Visitors can explore an above-ground trench and view a Dakota County service flag, and uniforms and weapons from both the Allied and Axis forces. “This has been a much-anticipated exhibit for both the Dakota County Historical Society and the public,” said Matt Carter, executive director of the historical society. “This is the first time our organization has done a large-scale exhibit.” The museum is open 9 a.m.5 p.m., Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Thursday, and 10 a.m. -3 p.m. Saturday. Admission is a suggested $5 donation. For more details, visit

Your Community News & Information Source

February 2018

South Metro Fire marks a decade of effective collaboration

Training exercise photo courtesy of South Metro Fire.

Tara Guy Contributor


ew Year’s Day marked the tenth anniversary of the historic consolidation of the West St. Paul and South St. Paul fire departments into the South Metro Fire Department. This remarkable merger, widely regarded as a highly successful model of combined municipal services, was the outcome of five long and sometimes contentious years of work between the two cities. “It was a significant, complicated undertaking,” said South St. Paul City Administrator Steve King, who will retire this sum-

mer after 15 years in his position. He came on scene just as merger discussions began, prompted by growing budget and staffing concerns the two cities were experiencing. King has been instrumental in overseeing the challenges, growing pains, and ultimately the flourishing growth of the department. When he arrived in 2003, and continuing through the mid 2000s, the cities were starting to lose significant amounts of local government aid from the state, resulting in serious funding shortfalls. This take-back of allocated state funding, much of which had already been factored into local government South Metro Fire / Page 2

City searching for new airport manager The City of South St. Paul is searching for a new manager to oversee operations, security and maintenance of Fleming Field Airport. Philip Tiedeman, the former manager, left the post on Jan. 2 after serving in that role since August 2015. The vacancy occurs at an inopportune time because Fleming Field and other local airports are expected to see heavy usage among visitors coming to the Twin Cities for Super Bowl LII. Shelly Anderson, assistant city administrator, said the city began accepting applications immediately and expects the review process to begin in late January, with interviews taking place in mid-February. The goal is to name a new manager by the end of March. Salary range is $64,083 to $84,319. Existing staff includes Airport Operations Specialist Joseph Carney, Maintenance Technician Steve Sommers and Weekend Building Attendant Jesse Wolfe. Carney has been in his position since October 2014 and worked closely with Tiedeman. He has a degree in airport management from Kansas State University-Salina and is a certified member of the American Association of Airport Executives. The airport is publicly owned and operated by the City of South St. Paul. It is named in honor of Richard Fleming, a World War II Navy pilot who posthumously received the Congressional Medal of Honor.

TriDistrict retools OJT concept to prepare tomorrow’s workforce Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


he TriDistrict Partnership is taking the onthe-job-training concept to a whole new level by forming partnerships with area businesses to allow students to study and learn in environments they may actually work in one day. Under the newly formed Tri-District Career and College Readiness Initiative, students in

the South St. Paul, Inver Grove Heights and West St. Paul-Mendota HeightsEagan school districts will soon be able to attend classes at Twin Cities Orthopedic and North American Trailer. There they will discover personal skills and areas of interest, and then use those discoveries to create a career path that will guide them in making wise choices about their post-secondary education.

Ben Kusch, a former high school principal, is the lead designer of the program, which will launch this fall. He has been working on curriculum and classes that will prepare students to meet the demands of businesses that are coping with a workforce that is currently top heavy with aging and retiring workers. The three school districts have a long history of sharing resources to manage

costs and provide highquality programming for students and families. It helps that the three high schools are within a 5-mile radius of each other. TriDistrict schools have a combined enrollment of more than 12,000 students in grades K-12, and about 3,500 in grades 9-12. District leaders are being spurred on in this new direction to meet the requirements of Minnesota’s

statewide educational initiative called the World’s Best Workforce, created in 2013 to ensure that Minnesota remains economically strong by having its high school students college- and career-ready, and poised to lead the state’s workforce. The State turned its attention to this initiative after discovering that 70 percent of all jobs in 2018 will require some type of post secondary education, and

that many businesses report that they can’t find qualified candidates for good-paying jobs. To complicate matters, the fastest growing segment of the future workforce – students of color – currently has the state’s lowest graduation rate. Kusch and other TriDistrict leaders have been meeting with employers and community organizations, TriDistrict / Page 3

P ublic Safety South Metro Fire from page 1

budgets, left cities and counties scrambling to provide even minimal, mandated municipal services. In some cases, such municipal exigency stimulated creativity. Hence, the cities of South St. Paul and West St. Paul went to the drawing board to devise a unique organizational structure. “Something we did differently was we set up an independent joint powers agreement, which was administered by a governing board,” said King. “The

governing board functions like a little city council in a way...and their budget stands alone. They prepare their budget, figure out the charge that’s required from each community, and it’s a single number each city gets.” Two council members from each city serve on the board, along with one citizen who serves at-large and is not necessarily a citizen of either city. “Each of the two cities had very, very good people come on board. We were

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Your community news and information source very fortunate,” said King. The joint powers agreement was signed in October 2005, laying the groundwork for the formal merger on New Year’s Day 2008. The nascent South Metro Fire Department was fortunate in other ways as well, including its personnel. West St. Paul Fire Chief John Ehret had been with that department since 1983 and was chosen to lead the South Metro Fire Department in 2006. “When Chief Ehret came in, he was kind of a visionary,” said King. “He had a lot to do with the success of the merger through some challenging times. It was quite a balancing act.” Each department had a tradition of long-serving employees that continues today. When Ehret retired

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in 2013, current Chief Mike Pott assumed the role. He served in the West St. Paul Department since 1986. “Chief Pott is excellent at long-range planning and achieving targeted goals,” said King. “He also has a high-quality, very talented staff. It’s a fine department.” In a recent interview, South Metro Fire Chief of Operations Mark Erickson reflected on the challenges and successes of the merger, as well as the department’s hopes for the future. He joined the South St. Paul Fire Department in 1999, and noted that loyalty and longevity are a hallmark of department employees. “We have very few people leave the department,” he said. “Since we merged in 2008, we’ve had only three people move on to other departments, out of thirtyseven line personnel.” When asked about the mechanics the transiSTATE of FARM tion and the blending of Stremski Agency a department of two cit1560 Livingston Ave., ies Suite with 101, distinctly different West St. Paul personalities, Erickson said, “I think, inHogar general, it went relativelyAutomóvil smoothly. EverySeguro de Vida


body was apprehensive in the beginning because we really didn’t know what our future looked like. Once we got past the unknown, we settled in and got to know each other. We knew this was going to be okay. Plus, as I like to tell people, we just doubled our workforce without spending more money!” In terms of the future, there is hope of further positive change and growth. South Metro has great interest in a new legislative movement that would allow the establishment of “fire districts.” “Official fire districts are those that have taxing authority granted by State legislation,” said Erickson. “Recently, there has been a push for legislation that would allow two or more cooperating units of government to form districts without legislation specific to each district. This made it into bill form in last year’s session, but died in committee.” Theoretically, this could provide more flexibility on the part of fire departments, which could ultimately benefit taxpay-

ers. “I expect we will see a similar proposal this coming year,” he added. There is also interest in a new concept known as Community Paramedic or Community EMT. “This is essentially a program that uses local responders to do follow-up visits to patients recently discharged from hospitals,” said Erickson.  “The idea is that these follow-up visits would decrease the likelihood of a patient needing to return to the hospital due to post-issue complications. In theory, this would save the hospitals money, and the cost for the program could be covered by the savings. We are certainly keeping our eye on the options and opportunities as they become more clear.” Whatever the future may bring, it is clear that the merger of the South St. Paul and West St. Paul fire departments has been a success, serving as an example of wise public administration, efficient sharing of municipal services, and a template for successful collaboration between mutually respectful municipalities.



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‘Their biggest challenge is to get their employees to show up for work,’ said Kusch.

from page 1

Ben Kusch, who is leading the initative, said changes are needed in school curriculums to help students gain basic workforce skills. High School has an Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) program that allows students to graduate from high school with a two year EMR certification, and classes that can be used for college credit. At Henry Sibley, students have worked with mentors from the nonprofit BestPrep. Its volunteers correspond with students by email to share information about their ca-

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reer, job responsibilities and educational background. Kusch said the Tri-Distict Career and College Readiness Initiative is being designed to pull together each high school’s counseling and career preparation programs under one umbrella. EVENING & WEEKEND APPOINTMENTS AVAILABLE

ties out there.” Starting this fall, the TriDistrict Career and College Readiness Initiative will offer a health careers course at Twin City Orthopedics in Mendota Heights, and a transportation technology course at North American Trailer in Inver Grove Heights. Each one-semester class will accommodate 30 students from throughout the Tri District. Students will be transported to and from the work site, and will work as interns during the second semester. These programs will be open to those who are interested, with preference given to seniors. “There are no academic thresholds,” said Kusch. “There will be clear expectations for students and parents. They will go into the work environment with on-boarding just as other employees must do, and will have a name badges and the same level of behavior expectations as a regular employee.”  Tri District high schools already have some successful career-related programs. For example, Simley

“The top twenty percent of students are taking advantage of Advanced Placement courses and work well within the current system. They are college bound,” he said. “We also do well with the lower end of the spectrum, with special education students. Their needs have been identified and support is in place, and state and federal revenue supports the programs. It’s the students that fall in the middle that will really benefit from this shift in educational focus. We want to hook them and engage them and get the light switch to flip on. They need validation that there is a place for them out there, and there are benefits to be reaped if they stick with it.”

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studying workforce needs and projections, and speaking with students, parents and teachers. They have learned that a variety of industries, from manufacturing to information technology jobs, require skills different from those needed in the past. They also face other confounding issues. “Their biggest challenge is to get their employees to show up for work,” said Kusch. “They [employees] are not skills-deficient. It has more to do with ‘soft skills,’ like learning professionalism. The ability to collaborate on projects is essential. So are critical thinking skills, and the ability to read technical manuals and write. They want creative problem solvers.” School curriculum should adapt to help students gain these skills, Kusch said. “We are into personalizing how students learn best,” said Kusch. “Now we will take it a step further by focusing on a career path of interest and what skills are needed to work in that environment.” He suggested tapping into kids’ interests early and offering a learning environment that prepares students for the demands of the work place. Kusch has talked to scores of students about their career choices and said the main reason they chose a career is because a parent or someone they knew was doing it, or they saw it on TV. “They see things as black and white – the health care field is just doctors and nurses. Education is just a teacher or school principal,” he said. “We need to do a better job of educating students about job opportuni-

The South St. Paul Voice is published monthly and distributed to 8,500 homes and high traffic businesses in South St. Paul. Publisher: Tim Spitzack Copy Editor: Leslie Martin Reporter: Mary Diedrick Hansen Advertising Manager: John E. Ahlstrom Contributors: Lois Glewwe Tara Guy Jenny Felton Home Delivery: Independent Delivery Service Bulk Delivery: SC Distribution

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Packer boys hockey team cracks state rankings John E. Ahlstrom Staff Writer

There is nothing that defines the city of South St. Paul more universally, especially among us aging baby boomers, than its reputation as a high school hockey power. Between 1947 and 2004, the Packers represented their school – and their hometown – in the state tournament on 28 occasions. The dry spell for the boys team has now reached 13 seasons, but the 2017-18 squad is offering a glimmer of hope. The lads captured the annual South St. Paul Premier Holiday Tournament at Doug Woog Arena over the final weekend of 2017 in dominating fashion, outscoring their opposition (Hastings, New Prague and Woodbury) by a combined score of 16-2. Four days later, the Packers cracked the Top 20 rankings (#19) for the first time in Scott Macho’s 6-year tenure as head coach.

Macho, whose coaching career has included stints as an assistant at St. Olaf College in Northfield and as a head coach at Rosemount High School, took the reigns as the team prior to the 2012-13 season. His awareness of and respect for the storied history of the program was one of the reasons he sought the post, and he is fervent in his desire to rekindle some of the magic. “We have a large number of seniors on this year’s squad,” said Macho. “It’s a solid group of kids that we have had the opportunity to work with and bring along since they were ninth graders. They have matured and have taken ownership of the team.” Even more exciting for Macho is the large number of kids from last year’s ninth grade class that have taken a giant leap forward and are making quality contributions on the varsity as sophomores. “This is the most depth we have had since I’ve been

here,” he said. “There is serious competition for playing time going on each and every day in practice and that, in the long run, will only make us better.” One of the hindrances that Macho has encountered each November over the past six seasons is the post-season success enjoyed by the Packer football team. Of the 32 players currently on the varsity and junior varsity rosters, 23 also played football, and thus missed the first week of practice. “It’s not only missing that first week of practice, but there is also an adjustment period for the kids as they transition from football to hockey,” said Macho. “That said, I find it refreshing that our school encourages student-athletes to take part in multiple sports.” In addition to the number of kids who missed practice because of postseason football, two crucial members of Macho’s first line were shelved with in-

Photo by Darcie Palodichuk

Senior Jacob Tuensing, in his third season as starting goaltender, sports a 2.33 goals against average and a save percentage of .912. juries. Senior captain Matthew Gellerman, the heart of the team’s offense and its most prolific scorer, and sophomore sensation Brandon Reynolds missed most of the first month of the season. “The Premier Tournament was the first time we had our full complement of players dressed and ready to go,” said Macho. “We were encouraged by the way we

played and we are looking forward to building on that success during the second half of the season.” Sophomore Cam Kluender joins Gellerman and Reynolds as the third wheel on the Packers’ first line. “All three of them bring something to the table,” said Macho. “Gellerman has great hands, speed and is a natural scorer. Kluender is one of those guys who

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the puck seems to find and he knows what do with it when it does, and Reynolds is small, quick and has a scent for the open ice.” Sophomore Jacob Saver centers the second line with seniors Sam Rohrer and Nathan Brandecker as his wings. “Saver is a fierce back checker and one of the best two-way players on the team,” said Macho. “Rohrer

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S ports is all about work ethic and uses his quickness and speed to create turnovers, and Brandecker has developed into the prototypical power forward. He utilizes his size and strength around the net and in the corners.” Macho plays three lines, but he is not yet set on the personnel who will man the third line on a regular basis. Those in the mix include seniors Adam Burke, Luke Stanefski, Gavin Cunningham and Matt Forbrook, junior Dokota Heimerl and sophomore Max Bauer.

Your community news and information source “All six of them have in one way or another earned playing time and the best place to sort it out is on the ice in both practice and in games,” said Macho. “Roster depth is a blessing.” Rather than set definitive defensive pairings, the Packers rotate five players who get roughly the same amount of playing time. At the top of that list is senior Cade Sexauer. “Cade is the ultimate defensive defenseman,” said Macho. “He’s a big kid and very bright. When he

lays claim to his territory around the net, he’s tough to move out.” Senior Austin Cunnien, juniors Jackson Luhrs and Sam Lehman and sophomore Josh Lissick also play key roles as defensemen. “Cunnien took one for the team when we asked him to move from forward to defense. He really helps us with puck control coming out of the defensive zone,” said Macho. “Luhrs is another tough football kid who relishes the physicality, and Lehman, who

was on the JV team last year, did the work necessary to move up and help us. Lissick is another kid from our impressive sophomore class with a bright future.” Senior Jacob Toensing is in his third season as the starting goaltender and sports a 2.33 goals against average and a solid save percentage (.912). Macho believes that Toensing, along with Gellerman, are the most likely members on the team to continue playing hockey at the junior level next year. MERRIAM PARK

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“Jacob is a great team leader and his work ethic is off the charts,” said Macho. “In practice, he keeps asking his teammates to pepper him with more shots. He’s one of those first-toget-there-and-last-to-leave kids and his teammates love playing in front of him.” Despite the gratitude and recognition associated with earning the #19 ranking in the latest Class A poll conducted by Let’s Play Hockey, Macho is fully aware that the road to a state tournament berth is a steep one.


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Also in Section 4A are #16 Simley, #15 Northfield and #2 Mahtomedi. “What we have achieved to this point is a step in the right direction for our program, and we are certainly pleased about that,” said Macho. “That said, we have a great group of kids who love to compete and I’d be the last one to put a ceiling on what they can accomplish this spring.”

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651.291.7005 Historic Hamm Building, Downtown Saint Paul

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South St. Paul Voice - February 2018 - Page 5

S ample St. Paul

Fitzgerald Theater

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

Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band will perform at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 31. $35$45. National Geographic Live!, 7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8. Photographer/filmmaker Florian Schulz presents “Into the Arctic Kingdom.” $30$40. Live From Here with Chris Thile, 4:45 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24. This event features musicial guests, comedy, spoken word and a new song performed by Thile. $31$49.

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

“Renewing What They Gave Us: Native American Artists in Residence,” through April 22. Original beadwork, birch bark and textile artwork by five contemporary American Indian artists. “AMVETS Post #5: Photographs by Xavier Tavera,” through April 22. Thirty-five largescale, color portraits of Mexican and MexicanAmerican war veterans from VFW Post #5 on St. Paul’s West Side. Tavera created the images to document veterans who fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

Ongoing: “Then Now Wow,” “Minnesota’s Greatest Generation: The Depression, The War, The Boom,” “Grainland,” “Open House: If These Walls Could Talk,” and “Weather Permitting.” Museum tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and college students, and $6 for children ages 5-17. The center offers free admission on Tuesdays, 3-8 p.m. History


10 E. Tenth St., St. Paul 651-292-4323

“A Crack in the Sky,” February 10-March 4. A young shepherd leaves his home in Somalia and embarks on an adventure that brings him to Minnesota. $25-$40, with discounts for students and seniors.

Two-time Grammy Award-winning artist Terrance Simien will perform with his 5-piece band February 10 at the Ordway Center.

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and music at 1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 11, and Iceland at 1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 25. Free.

Courtroom concerts are held at noon each Thursday in February in Courtroom 317. Free.

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290 5th Street East, St Paul MN Page 6 - South St. Paul Voice - February 2018

S ample St. Paul

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live entertainment and family-friendly activities. Free.

strate the latest products for home improvement, remodeling, decorating, gardening, landscaping, lawn care and more. $9 for adults; $2.50 for children age 6-12.

Saint Paul Ballet performance, noon, Tuesday, Feb. 13 in the Musser Cortile. Free. Kid’s Jam with Leo and Kathy Lara, noon, Wednesday, Feb. 28 in Room 205. Free.

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Minnesota Opera presents “Dead Man Walking” January 27-February 3. $25-$165. The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Second Piano Concerto with Jonathan Biss February 2-3, and Baroque Concertos and Haydn’s Fire  Symphony February 16-17. $12-$50 for all performances. The Broadway Boys, February 9-10. The hottest male singers working on the New York stage add elements of pop, funk, gospel, jazz and folk to showtunes and classic pop songs. $36. Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10. Two-time Grammy Award-winng artist Terrance Simien will perform with his 5-piece band. $27-$32. Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live, 7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 13. A team of performers and puppeteers use life-like dinosaurs to take the audience on a tour of pre-historic Australia. $33-$58. “The Summit: The Manhattan Transfer Meets Take 6,” 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 15. The Manhattan Transfer, which has won 10 Grammy Awards since forming in 1972, will perform its signature blend of fourpart harmony. $27-$89. Shen Yun, February 16-18. Shen Yun will take the audience on a journey through five millennia of Chinese culture. This allnew program is backed by a live orchestra. $88$158. Avi Avital & Sérgio and Odair Assad, 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 20, and 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 21. Avital is an Israeli mandolinist, com-

“The Pirates of Penzance” opens February 9 at Park Square Theatre. poser and performer best known for his renditions of well-known Baroque and folk music. Sérgio and Odair Assad are Brazilian-born brothers and classical guitarists. Ladysmith Black Mambazo, 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23. South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo will perform their uplifting vocal harmonies and signature dance moves, amidst charming onstage banter. $22-$58. “Classic Albums Live presents Pink FloydDark Side of the Moon,” 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24. This classic album is recreated live on stage, note for note. $27-$48. Gobsmacked!, 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24. Beatboxing, breathtaking harmonies and unique arrangements of favorite songs performed a cappella. $37-$79.

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“The Pirates of Penzance,” is showing February 9-March 25. Gilbert and Sullivan are on a steamer bound for the New York opening of their new hit – a roaring farce of sentimental pirates, bumbling policemen and hopeful young lovers. Unfortunately, they’ve left the score in London. They scramble to recreate the show with only the clothes in their trunks and ship mates for a cast. $25-$60.

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42nd Annual Saintly City Cat Club Championship and Household Pet Cat Show, Jan. 27-28. Exotic and wellknown breeds will compete for the titles of “Best Cat” and “King” and “Queen” cats. $4, with discounts for seniors and children. The 39th annual Minnesota Home and Patio Show, February 22-25. Hundreds of exhibitors will display and demon-

Concerts include Portugal. The Man, February 9-10 ($37.50-$50); In This Moment, 7 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 18 ($35$55); Galactic With Lettuce, 8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 22 ($27-$47); Judah and the Lion, 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23 ($30-$40); Walk The Moon, 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24 ($42.50-$54.50).

“Cardboard Piano,” through February 18. In Northern Uganda, the daughter of an American missionary and a local teenage girl steal into a

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The Dave Matthews Band will headline “The Night Before” show, a special Super Bowl LII peformance, at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 3. Tickets start at $70.

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“Sportsology” - Explore the role of physiology, physics and nutrition in sports, and challenge a friend to a race, jumping competition and more.

Omnifest 2018, held through March 1, features five films: “Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees,” “Journey Into Amazing Caves,” Rocky Mountain Express,” “The Magic of Flight,” and “Wolves.”


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South St. Paul Voice - February 2018 - Page 7

N ews Briefs Fare for All Express Fare for All Express will be held 4-6 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 20 at Central Square Community Center, 100 7th Ave. N. Fare for All Express is a cooperative foodbuying program that allows people to save as much as 50 percent on monthly groceries by purchasing “express packages.” No advance payment or pre-registration is needed and there is no limit to the number of packages that can be purchased each month. Participation does not affect eligibility to receive assistance from a food shelf. For more information, call 651-366-6200 or visit

A Royal Ball South St. Paul Parks and Recreation is hosting a Royal Ball 3-5 p.m., Sun-

Your community news and information source day, Feb. 11 at the Historic Exchange Building, 200 Concord Exch. N., South St. Paul. The event will feature crafts, games, a meetand-greet with a prince and princesses, DJ, refreshments and dancing. Participants are encouraged to dress in a royal costume. Cost is $20 and registration is required by Feb. 5. To register or receive more information, call 651-366-6200 or visit

Free English classes South Suburban Adult Basic Education offers free classes at 517 Marie Ave. South St. Paul, to help people age 17 and older learn English and improve literacy skills. To register or receive more information, call 651-306-3632.

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Hot Reads for Cold Nights - The adult reading program is held through February 24. Participants may read or listen to any book and submit drawing review slips for the chance to win weekly prizes, including gift cards, books, mugs and more. Also, play Grand Prize Bingo for the chance to win a $50 Cherokee Tavern gift card. Registration packets will be available January 2 at the library. Connecting Through Stories, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 1. Storyteller Danielle Daniel, accompanied by a musician, will share stories that highlight African-American history and culture. Transform Your Life through Meditation, 6:30-8 p.m., Monday, Feb. 5. Discover strategies to help you to let go of anger, fear and worry, and create more harmonious relationships. Book discussion groups - “The Secret Keeper” by Kate Morton is the title discussed in February. Discussions are held 7-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 8 and 1-2:30 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 14. Hand-crafted Creatures, 6-8 p.m., Monday, Feb. 26. Learn the basics of constructing and stitching a tiny stuffed animal. Registration required.

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St. Paul Publishing Company | | 651-457-1177 Page 8 - South St. Paul Voice - February 2018

Rock, Rattle and Rhyme, 6:15 p.m., Monday, Feb. 5, 12 and 26. Ages birth to 3 are invited to enjoy rhymes, songs, sign language, books and play time that teaches early literacy and socialization skills. Storytime for ages 2-6, 10:15 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 6, 13 and 27. Participants will read, write, sing, play and enjoy stories and activities that develop early literacy skills. Homeschool Meetup, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Friday, Feb. 2. Homeschooling families will meet to discuss educational ideas and materials. WonderWorks, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 8 and Friday, Feb. 23. Explore topics in science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on play, experimentation and books. Registration is required. Ages 3-6. Maker Mornings, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 15. Create, build and tinker in a relaxed and playful atmosphere. Ages 3-6. Crazy 8s Math Club, 4-5 p.m., Wednesday, January 31. Youth in grades 3-5 are invited to take part in crazy activities that make math fun. This eight-week club is for kids of all math abilities. Space is limited. Stories at Lawshe Memorial Museum, 10:15 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 20. The Dakota County Historical Society and South St. Paul Public Library are collaborating for a special storytime for ages 2-6. Super Saturday, 11 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Feb. 3. Football fans are invited to make a football catapult, design a team helmet, craft a photo frame and more. Ages 3-12. Parachute Play, 11-11:45 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 7. Registration required. Ages 2-6. Obstacle course, 10:30-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 28, Navigate tunnels and hoops, hop down a path and weave through cones in this full-body movement experience. Ages 2-6. Long Road to Publishing, 1-3:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 10. Author Kristin Van Risseghem will offer basic advice on how to promote yourself and your writing. Ages 12 and older.

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Project 55075 - A Recipe for Success

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out the annual 55075 Food Drive. The theme this year is 55075 – A Recipe for Success. We searched the web to find out what one needs for a recipe for success and discovered this: one pound of leadership, one pinch of positivity, one teaspoon of ideas, two spoonfuls of teamwork, one cup of marketing vision, three tablespoons of challenge and one bag of hope. We thought that was a good recipe and decided to apply it to our food drive. In January, the task force presented the concept to students at our youth leadership summit, and here is what some of the participants had to say: “We liked the one cup of leadership because every successful campaign has good leaders….We liked the positivity and decided one pinch was just right, as well as the teaspoon of ideas. For a successful recipe and campaign, you need just the right amount. Having too many (ingredients) could make for an ineffective campaign and a recipe that doesn’t taste just right.” “We liked the three tablespoons of challenge because we know that it will be a challenge to make the 55,075 poundage goal, and one bag of hope sounded right. The ingredient we liked best was the two tablespoons of teamwork. We decided that two tablespoons was not enough and we would add a bit more because a strong team working together makes for a great campaign and a great recipe.” We will kick off the food drive March 5 at the South

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St. Paul City Council meeting. The campaign will include a variety of events and activities. Donation barrels will be placed throughout town and donation bags will be delivered to area homes. On March 17 we’ll open a community drop-off site. Later that month, a Fill the Plate Skate will take place at Doug Woog Arena. A few new activities will be added to help us meet our goal of raising 55,075 pounds of non-perishable food items for the Neighbors, Inc. food shelf. Why March? March is Minnesota Foodshare month, which seeks to unite community organizations, businesses and faith communities to help stock nearly 300 food shelves statewide. In 2017, more than $8 million and 4.7 million pounds of food were raised by Minnesota food shelves and Minnesota FoodShare. In South St. Paul, more than 56,000 pounds (and converted dollars) were raised and donated to Neighbors, Inc. We made our goal thanks to teamwork and a strong community. The task force is looking for ingredients – community partners, clubs, scouts, churches, schools, businesses, families and individuals – to be part of the recipe for success. Whether it is delivering donation bags or running a neighborhood campaign, anyone can help. For more information, contact Deb Griffith, community affairs liaison, at 651-554-3230 or

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C ommunity

Your community news and information source

Neighbors, Inc. Charlie Thompson President & CEO


t Neighbors, we see first-hand the needs in our community. Last year, more families visited our food shelf, and our free produce and bakery shelf continued to be used regularly. Clothing vouchers were given to hundreds of individuals, and hundreds more utilized our transporta-

tion program to get to medical appointments. Thousands of dollars were provided for emergency expenses, such as utility bills and rent. Still, there are times when we have a hard time meeting the needs of those we serve. We are seeing nearly a dozen clients a week who are homeless. Many of them are families with children. Some have housing vouchers but affordable options are scarce. Some are couch-hopping with friends and family, and others are literally on the street. Dakota County is making progress toward addressing homelessness. This winter, along with nonprofit and congregational partners, the County has created a rotating emergency shelter that allows up to 50 adults to escape the cold, partake in dinner and breakfast, and have a place to sleep. Another initiative underway is rapid re-housing, which seeks to find housing as quickly as possible for people experiencing homelessness. Both initiatives are to be applauded. However, the need is greater than the response.

Forty-six years ago our community was facing an economic crisis, and Neighbors, Inc., was formed to help. Today we are facing a housing crisis, and while Neighbors is not a provider of housing we are a voice for those we serve. Dakota County and countless nonprofit partners are working on solutions to the vexing problem of homelessness. I have attended many meetings with public officials and housing experts to discuss the challenges facing those we serve. While progress is being made, families are still falling through the gaps because there simply are not enough emergency shelter beds available. As members of our community, I encourage you to support solutions that include a permanent shelter for families and individuals. A permanent shelter will help school-age children receive the education they need and deserve, and adults gain and maintain employment. Families on our streets and individuals struggling to make ends meet are depending on us.

Celebrating 115 Years

American Bank of St. Paul, effectively doubling the size of its operations and adding locations in the Twin Cities metro area. Today, Deerwood Bank has assets of about $500 million and gives back to the community in many ways. It seeks to help local businesses grow and add jobs by providing working capital and commercial real estate loans. It also offers many programs for homeowners. “At Deerwood Bank we have helped businesses grow and prosper for over one hundred years by providing superior services to our customers and communities we serve,” said Ross Dahlin, assistant vice president of business banking. “Our goal is to help our customers reach their goals. Our business philosophies are based on the belief that to be a successful community bank we must be committed to our communities and have a unique ability to know and serve our markets.” Minnesota State Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL, District 52A) will receive the 2017 Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence Award. He truly exceeds all criteria, which include a commitment to improving life, business, community and entrepreneurship in the

The River Heights Chamber of Commerce will host its 115th Annual Meeting at 11:30 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 15, at Mendakota Country Club in Mendota Heights. At the luncheon, we will honor our 2017 leaders, welcome our new board chair, and recognize our 2018 Business of the Year, the winners

Jennifer L. Gale, president

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of the 2017 Forrest Glewwe Visions of Excellence and Rising Star awards, and our Ambassador of the Year. Current board chair Brenda Dietrich will recognize 2017 Chairman Jon Erickson, and take us into our year of celebrating a 115-year solid foundation. “Having the opportunity to get to know more businesses in the Chamber [in more detail] – what makes them tick, what are some challenges they face and how the Chamber can help out – is what I’m excited to do,” said Dietrich. “Also, with it being the 115th anniversary this year I think it’s a great time to reflect on the benefits of the Chamber, and have a renewed push toward the value of membership and how the Chamber has evolved over the last century to advocate for commerce. I am excited, energetic and committed to working with our members to achieve the goals set before us.” Deerwood Bank in Mendota Heights will receive our Business of the Year award. Established in 1910 in Deerwood, Minn., the bank served the lumber and resort community for 68 years before adding a second branch in Garrison in 1978. In 2015, Deerwood Bank acquired the former

River Heights region. He has spent much of his life championing environmental issues. He graduated magna cum laude from Upper Iowa University with a bachelor of science in biology and received a master of science in soil management from Iowa State University. In 2004, he was elected to the Minnesota Legislature, where he represents people in South St. Paul, West St. Paul, Mendota Heights, Mendota and Lilydale. He is committed to his community, state and family and has been active in the Chamber’s South St. Paul local issues committee and in many community projects. The Rising Star award will be granted to a volunteer who has displayed leadership, enthusiasm and passion for the Chamber’s mission during their first few years of membership. The Ambassador of the Year Award will be presented to the individual who has earned the most points throughout the year for their volunteerism. For more information on the annual meeting, visit annualmeeting. For more details on the award winners, watch their videos at

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B ack in Time

Your community news and information source

Marie Avenue Memories Lois Glewwe Contributor


arie Avenue, from Fourth to Eighth avenues, has been a popular shopping district since at least 1910 when my grandfather opened Glewwe’s Grocery on the corner of Fifth and Marie. The store had two earlier locations in residential neighborhoods but its arrival on Marie marked the beginning of commercial development on “the hill,” as the area above Concord Street was to become known. Prior to that time, the South St. Paul City Council prevented businesses from opening anywhere but on Concord Street or Grand Avenue. My grandfather, a Baptist teetotaler, had no intention of operating a business alongside the many bars and taverns on Concord and believed that residents would support his desire to create a new business district on Marie Avenue. Within a short time, several new shops had opened on both Marie Avenue and Southview Boulevard, creating

the city’s newest shopping district. One of the most historic and charming blocks along Marie is just across from Central Square, and in 1984 a local artist captured the scene in a painting. It includes the current B&G Crossing at 602 Marie Ave., the former Bon Ton Donut Shop at 609 Marie, and the early Hill Barber Shop at 611 Marie. Today the Bon Ton building is the Minnesota Music Factory, and the earlier barber shop is now Clean Cuts Barber Shop. Artist Madonna Bonk was volunteering at the reception desk at Central Square Community Center when she took a break and went for a walk around the block. She was captivated by the view of Marie Avenue and decided to paint the scene. According to her daughter Rita Bonk Schmid, Madonna, now 96, developed her interest in oil painting in the 1970s and had taken classes from an art instructor from the University of Minnesota. Her painting of Marie Avenue was approximately

10-by-12-inches, and purchased for $35 by an art teacher at South St. Paul High School. It was later reproduced as postcards by The Cartwheel Company in St. Paul. The three businesses in the painting have a long history in the city. B&G Crossing was originally a grocery store owned and operated by Michael Gerkovich in the 1920s. In 1937, Michael’s nephew Eli Gerkovich opened Marie Avenue Dry Goods there. Eli’s son Dave Gerkovich changed the name of the store to B&G Crossing in 1982 and continues to own the business today. Throughout the years, the building also housed John Aller’s Barber Shop (later owned by William Ziegler), Dentist Harry Schroeder, Nick Gerkovich’s shoe repair, dressmaker Kathryn Trabbold, tailor Ernest Gallick and piano teacher Blanche Stephenson. In 1930, the Bon Ton site at 609 Marie was a confectionery shop owned by Thomas Loughran. In the 1947 city directory it

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South St. Paul artist Madonna Bonk created this oil painting of Marie Avenue in 1984. It includes three of the city’s then oldest businesses, B&G, The Bon Ton Donut Shop and Hill Barber Shop. was called Marie Avenue Confectionery, owned by Charles Hall. It included a soda foundation, confectionery, ice cream and bakery. The spot later became Southern Maid grocery. In 1957 Bob and Phyllis Gilgrist opened the Bon Ton and Marie Avenue Mini Mart. Mark Stassen bought the business in 1979, but

sold it back to Phyllis Gilgrist in 1987. The shop remained popular for nearly another decade but closed in 1996. The recipes for Bon Ton’s famous donuts were reportedly sold to Granny Donuts on Robert Street in West St. Paul, where they are still being made today. The Hill Barber Shop in the painting was Richard

Adam, Jr.’s restaurant in 1930. By 1947 it had become Albert Ziegler’s tailor shop. William Ziegler moved his barber shop from 603 to 613 Marie Ave. by 1959, then opened the Hill Barber Shop at 611 Marie by 1964. The business has remained a barber shop under various owners to the present day.

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