Page 1 News

Farmington | Lakeville August 17, 2012 | Volume 33 | Number 25

Slavik, Fogarty win in District 1

Many Minnesotans to revere

Hastings City Council member wins with big margin by Laura Adelmann Sun Thisweek

Exchange Bank building for sale The owners of the historic Exchange Bank building in downtown Farmington are seeking a buyer. It’s one of a handful of commercial properties available for use. Page 3A

thisweekend Photo by Rick Orndorf

Area thespians performed at the Dakota Chautauqua tent show at the Dakota County Fair, which ran from Aug. 6 to 12 at the fairgrounds in Farmington. The players offered their “Minnesota Bits of Trivia,” which was portrayed through song, comedy and narrative by a cast of nine actors/singers/musicians. Crowds gathered in Farmington for the fair, which experienced mild weather for most events. More photos from the fair are at

Only two file for Lakeville council Local man spins mermaid tales Lakeville actor to tell the stories of mythical creatures in Mermaid Cove at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Page 12A


Six candidates in District 194 School Board race

by Tad Johnson Sun Thisweek

Even though there’s two Lakeville City Council seats up for grabs in the Nov. 6 election and only one mayor’s position available, there are fewer candidates for the council seats. As was reported last week, three candidates have filed for mayor and when filing ended Tuesday two people had entered to fill two, four-year terms on the council. Those two filings included incumbent Kerrin Swecker, who announced her intention to run Tuesday, and Dave Bares. Bares said he would be running for council in February.

Seeking the two-year mayor’s position are incumbent Mark Bellows and current council members Matt Little and Laurie Rieb, who made her intentions known last week. Swecker and Rieb’s council terms expire at the end of the year. As for the Lakeville Area School Board race, six candidates will vie for three, fouryear terms. Candidates are incumbents Judy Keliher, Bob Erickson and new candidates Bader Alossaimi, Lori Amborn, Jennifer Harmening and Terry Lind. Kathy Lewis did not file for re-election.

Lewis was first elected in 1990. She has served in many leadership roles, including board chair, vice chair and clerk. Currently, she represents Lakeville on the Intermediate School District 917 School Board and is its treasurer. “ISD 194 is a phenomenal visionary organization with a mission that I continue to respect and support,” she said in a statement. The administration and staff are devoted to ensuring learning and success for each student.” Tad Johnson can be reached at or

Two challenge Farmington mayor for seat by Laura Adelmann Sun Thisweek

Lakeville North girls are back The Lakeville North girls soccer team returns in 2012 in search of another memorable run. Page 14A

Online Join the conversation at sunthisweek. Tweet with us at twitter. com/sunthisweek. Find more photos and stories at sunthisweek. com.

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Two Farmington residents have filed to run against incumbent Farmington Mayor Todd Larson. Former City Council Member David Pritzlaff and lifelong Farmington resident Jerry Wear filed their paperwork before the Aug. 14 deadline. Wear, a mechanic, said he was encouraged to run for mayor by friends who said they were unhappy with Larson’s current leadership. “They told me they don’t think he’s going to help the town,” said Wear, who stated

one of his platforms is to create jobs in town. Wear, a political newcomer, also cited concerns about property taxes that “keep going up and up and up,” and said he would closely monitor the budget. He emphasized the need for economic growth, but expressed concern about retaining Farmington’s unique character. “I would like Farmington to grow, but still retain that smalltown feel,” he said. Pritzlaff, a council member from 2005 to 2009, said he is running “to bring the city back to taxpayers.”


A new life

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Dakota County woman overcomes barriers to leaving her abusive relationship

He said the economy is still tight, and city officials need to be responsive to the cost of city services on the average citizen. Citing concerns about the high taxes Farmington residents pay compared to neighboring cities, Pritzlaff called for stronger leadership. He also said he is concerned about what he called a lack of professionalism demonstrated at City Council meetings. “They are still not listening to the people,” Pritzlaff said. “I think they could be more professional at meetings, the See mayor, 11A

by Tad Johnson Sun Thisweek

When Mary moved into her house a few years ago, she planted some flowers. Each spring they bloom and she rejoices in the day to come free from the yelling, screaming and the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former husband. It’s been nearly a decade since the abuse started and it took Mary several years to finally leave her husband. It’s been several more years to put her life back together for herself and her children. “I appreciate every day,” Mary said. “People take so many things for granted.” After she left her husband and the abusive relationship behind, Mary went back to school to earn a degree in which she can help victims of domestic abuse in some See abuse, 19A

Two area city council members won over their township challengers in the Aug. 13 primary election to vie for the open seat on Dakota County Board of Commissioners representing the southern part of the county. Hastings City Council Member Mike Slavik and Farmington City Council Member Christy Jo Fogarty won the highest amount Mike Slavik of votes from 3,080 ballots cast. Slavik eclipsed all four other contenders, even Fogarty, earning 1,286 votes, 41 percent of ballots cast. Fogarty received 733 votes, 25 percent, and was 61 votes ahead of third-place Christy Jo contender Mark A. Henry Fogarty of Castle Rock Township, who had 672 votes. Eureka Township Board Chair Brian Jaye Budensky had 243 votes, and Dean Birnstengel of Hastings had 106 votes. District 1 includes Farmington, Hastings and the townships and was represented for 32 years by Joe Harris of Hastings who did not seek re-election. Laura Adelmann is at or

Liquor operations manager resigns After much scrutiny, Farmington seeks new hire to focus on profits by Laura Adelmann Sun Thisweek

After working for more than 20 years with the city, Farmington Liquor Operations Manager Randy Petrofske has resigned. Farmington City Council members have recently raised concerns about the lack of liquor store profits and operating procedures, especially at the downtown store, but Mayor Todd Larson said he did not know Petrofske’s reasons for resigning the position. “He resigned a week or a week-and-ahalf ago,” Larson said Aug. 10. “I know very little about this one other than he resigned.” This spring, the council reviewed an analysis by the Minnesota Municipal Beverage Association requested by the city that found if changes were made, the city’s liquor stores could be profitable. The same association recommended profit-building changes in 2007, but they were never implemented. The city’s liquor store profits have for years struggled to return at most a 2 percent profit margin. The most recent state auditor’s report found Farmington earned $17,935 (0.4 percent of sales) in net profits in 2010, the lowest of any of the 19 metro municipal liquor operations cited in the report. One of the biggest concerns council members discussed this spring was an apparent history of inventory practices that may have played a part in the losses because policies did not adequately regulate which employees are authorized to conduct returns, voids and discounts. A $37,000 budget loss in 2007 was never accounted for, and although the MMBA recommended a thorough review and written policies regarding these practices, no changes were made. The city has posted an advertisement for the position at its website and at the League of Minnesota Cities website. According to the advertisements, the position pays between $65,645 and $78,806 annually. Duties listed include supervising staff and inventory control and states “Special emphasis will be placed on the development of a business plan for liquor operations, marketing efforts for two stores, and increasing profits of the operation.” Laura Adelmann is at or


August 17, 2012 Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville

Photo by Laura Adelmann

After serving 13 years on the Farmington School Board, Julie McKnight will not seek reelection in November.

McKnight leaves School Board Plans to continue volunteerism in Farmington

by Laura Adelmann Sun Thisweek

After serving 13 years on the Farmington School Board, Julie McKnight will not seek re-election. “I’m just ready to be done,” McKnight said. “Thirteen years is a long time to invest in something … I have grandkids now. I feel like I’m moving on to changes in my life.” During her tenure, the Farmington native said the board and administration oversaw the district’s transition into a larger district. “We had always been a small district … but we had to recognize we were getting larger and needed more systems in place, more unity between buildings. We couldn’t have everyone off doing their own thing. We had to bring everyone together. To me, that was the biggest thing we did.” She credited former Superintendent Brad Meeks for his leadership during the years of transition and said test scores improved as the district focused on teaching and learning. Now, the district is updating and launching its strategic plan. McKnight

said the next board will be instituting steps that allow the district to meet its goal of making Farmington the district of choice for families and students. Board members are backing a plan to provide iPads to students in an effort to encourage individualized learning, eventually advancing students based on their own progress and building a portfolio of work reflective of their strengths and abilities. McKnight predicted the district-of-choice goal will require more money, but noted community surveys have found residents are opposed to levy increases. “The biggest challenge is to figure out how to accomplish what we want to accomplish with our current funding,” McKnight said. “Because I think it would be difficult to get additional funding.” She said new board members should be open to learning district operations and the board’s job is not to micro-manage, but to define policy, manage the budget and hire the superintendent. Although McKnight said being a board member involved challenging issues,

including disputes regarding the location of the high school and taxpayers’ rejection of the sportsplex, there were perks as well, the most rewarding of which was handing diplomas to her family members. “I regret I won’t be able to give some (family members) their diploma, but giving them to everyone else was huge,” McKnight said, “because I love them all, and they worked so hard for this. It’s such a big moment for them, and to get it from someone who really appreciates them is a thrill for both of us.” McKnight said she does not plan to run for any other public office but plans to enjoy her hobbies, friends and family. She said she will continue to volunteer in the community, including as the Dew Days parade organizer. “We have a lot of generations in Farmington,” McKnight said. “This is my place. It is near and dear to my heart. I love this town. I need to be involved.” Laura Adelmann is at laura. or

Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville August 17, 2012

Interest, but no offers on Exchange Bank building Farmington commercial properties await sale


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by Laura Adelmann Sun Thisweek

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Photo by Laura Adelmann

After almost two months on the market, there has been some interest but no offers for the historic Farmington Exchange Bank building. building and owners have discussed expanding into other parts of the building, perhaps getting a liquor license, said Kenneth Bush, KW Commercial corporate services director. The upstairs grand hall studio accommodates 185 people and is used for dance and exercise classes, wed-

dings, receptions and parties. Leebens said no interior work is needed on either of the buildings. “You just have to customize it to your use,” she said. She said the Browns are selling because the elder is retired and most of their in-

vestments are in Minneapolis and Edina. “They don’t have a lot of ancillary investments,” See exchange, 6A

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Since Farmington’s historic Exchange Bank building was listed for sale for $876,000 in June, Realtors say there is interest but no offers to purchase the storied structure and the attached Larsen building. “We’ve had everything from local smaller investors to national investors looking for a smaller market,” said listing agent Becky Leebens, managing director of KW Commercial Midwest. Father-son team Hosmer Brown III and Hosmer Brown IV of 2004 Real Estate Company purchased the buildings for $1 from the former Farmington Housing and Redevelopment Authority in 1989, and the city spent over $200,000 in grant funds to improve the 1881 Exchange Bank building’s exterior, according to meeting minutes. Although the Browns agreed to renovate the interior during the next two years at a cost of at least $300,000, according to the contract, there were repeated delays and tension over the issue. The city’s HRA, renamed the Economic Development Authority, reclaimed the deed about a decade later. Following months of closed-door meetings, the 2004 Real Estate Company sued the city for its actions, and the matter settled out of court in 2010 at a $21,200 cost, paid by Farmington’s insurance through the League of Minnesota Cities. The city’s initial investment in the Exchange Bank building was to have generated economic development, and the contract specified 51 percent of the jobs spurred would go to those who qualify as low-income. While some businesses have come and gone over the years, the buildings have a lot of open space available. An ice cream parlor, Cow Interrupted, operates out of the front Exchange Bank

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Date 00, 2012 Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville

Good parents, teachers don’t let children bully others by Larry Werner Sun Thisweek

Recently in this space, I talked about the problem of bullying and shared my experience with bullies who used their power to mistreat my three children, who are now adults. I also mentioned some of the stories that have run in our newspapers about efforts by school districts to devise policies to protect students from bullies. And I invited readers to e-mail me with their experiences. I received only a few emails. But one was so compelling, I met with the writer, who told me about the effects bullies have had on her son, who is now a young husband and father. I agreed to protect the identity of the young man, but I received permission from his mother to tell his story because it illustrates the point I made in the headline on my column: “The pain inflicted by bullies can last a

Sun Thisweek Columnist

Larry Werner

lifetime.” Recalling his days in elementary school, when older students made fun of him on the school bus and kicked his lunch tray from his hands in the cafeteria, the woman said her son told her at the time: “Every class needs a nerd. I guess I am that nerd.” She and her husband complained to the teacher, who said: “What happens in the lunchroom and playground are out of my control; that is my break time.” The principal, likewise, said there was nothing he could do, even though that princi-

pal was a friend of hers. On the advice of a therapist, the parents switched their son to another school. It helped some, “bought some time,” as she put it, but by junior high, the boy fell into friendships that revolved around drug use. He spent three years in “deep addiction,” his mother said, and dropped out of high school. After a few DUIs, he got help, has been sober for 10 years and has a loving wife and children. “However, he is a man who is without trust,” the mother said of her adult son. “He is a loving father, husband, son and brother; yet, he won’t let anyone else into his life. He is fearful of authority. He stopped laughing a very long time ago.” She said her son learned from his bullying experience to trust no one and that when you let your guard down, you get hurt.” She recalled a poem she had read in

a women’s magazine from a mother to a child’s teacher. The mother in that poem wrote to the teacher that she had dressed her son in clean clothes, packed his lunch, loaded him up with school supplies and waved goodbye as she put the smiling boy on the school bus. The poem concluded with this question to the teacher: “What will you send home to me?” She concluded her e-mail to me with this statement: “Thank you for this opportunity to express the pain I’ve felt ever since I put my little boy on the bus all those years ago.” Larry Werner is director of news for ECM Publishers. He is a former Lakeville resident and general manager/editor of Sun Thisweek. His e-mail is larry.werner@ Columns reflect the opinion of the author.

Canterbury Park, Mystic Lake agreement offers new beginning for horse industry by Jeff Hilger Special to Sun Thisweek

When someone doesn’t tell the full story, you need to call them out. Even when it is your local newspaper. ECM Newspapers missed the boat with its early August editorial attacking the recent purse enhancement agreement between Canterbury Park and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. It is important that people understand the facts behind this agreement, which most of the leaders of Minnesota’s horse groups strongly support. The agreement does three things. Most importantly, it provides $75 million in purse increases over the next 10 years. It will more than double purses at Canterbury Park, bringing this track to top 25 status in the country. Second, it creates a marketing partnership between the two groups, a partnership that is no different than any other sponsorships that other horse tracks have with groups like Pepsi or AT&T. Finally, Canterbury Park will no lon-

Guest Columnist ger support a Racino bill. After 15 years and millions of dollars spent to pass Racino at the Minnesota Legislature, is anyone surprised that Canterbury Park is ready to walk away from this endless and expensive battle? Is anyone surprised that the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community wants Canterbury Park to walk away? The idea of using gambling revenues to increase horse purses is not new. Many states supplement purses with slot machines or card rooms like the card club at Running Aces. The difference with this agreement is that it involves revenue from existing casinos, which means no new law or regulation was needed. The Minnesota Racing Commission reviewed the agreement and determined that it would greatly improve Minnesota’s horse industry without affecting the integrity of Minnesota horse racing.

ECM’s main concern is that Running Aces was left behind. But Running Aces and Canterbury Park have never been close allies in the Racino debate, primarily because Canterbury Park has been focused on improving the horse industry while Running Aces has been focused on improving its bottom line. For several years, Running Aces refused to support Racino bills favored by Minnesota’s horse industry because the track’s private owners would not get enough of the take from the slot machines. I have personally been involved in conversations with Running Aces about Racino legislation. From the beginning, they have been honest with me — they are more interested in adding new casino games to Running Aces than improving harness racing. The problem is not leaving Running Aces behind, because they have always been running a different race. In contrast, Canterbury Park has focused on improving the horse industry and jumped at the chance to more than double racing purses. Under the agree-

ment with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, not a dime of casino revenue goes into the pockets of Canterbury Park’s shareholders. All proceeds from this agreement will go to purses or improved marketing. Frankly, I am not sure that Running Aces would accept this deal if it was offered to them today. Running Aces has a decision to make. If their goal is Racino revenue for the bottom line of track owners, they should keep plowing ahead. After all, maybe 15 years has not been long enough to wait for Racinos. But if our most important goal is to improve Minnesota’s horse industry, Running Aces needs a different approach. One that puts racing purses and investment in breeding first. Jeff Hilger is president of the Equine Development Coalition of Minnesota. Columns reflect the opinion of the author.

Letters Clausen is an outstanding leader To the editor: Greg Clausen is an outstanding educator and leader. He’s now running for the Minnesota Senate – offering his marvelous skills and experience for another level of public service. His wisdom, insight and dedication to young people are unsurpassed. He is a superb problemsolver, bringing compassion and excellent listening to the table to find common ground and achieve positive results. I’ve known Greg for over 25 years and in working with him have come to know that he is a person of his word. Please join me in voting for Greg Clausen on Nov. 6. Margaret Gohman Rosemount

Little leads on public safety To the editor: We and our two boys are glad to have made Lakeville our home for the past 11 years. What attracted us to this city were the excellent public schools, the friendly people, and the sense of security. We vote for public officials who understand the importance of public safety issues, and we feel that Matt Little has the strongest public safety record of all the mayoral candidates. Little fought through resistance to fill a police records assistant to help keep the police officers on the streets. He felt so strongly about this position that he offered to give up part of his city council salary to fund it. Safe roads and streets are an integral part to overall public safety, and Little has been responsive in that area, too. He worked to pass a comprehensive plan that repaired Lakev-

ille streets that were over four decades old. During his council campaign, he pushed for left-turn signals at Dodd Boulevard and County Road 50, which will be installed soon. We’re glad this project is going forward because we pass through this intersection nearly every day. Matt’s leadership on public safety is just one of many reasons he’s got our vote for mayor this November. Chris and Lori Bovitz Lakeville

A puzzle and key To the editor: The challenges described on previous editorial pages include our state’s aging (and retiring) workforce, the chance to consolidate some local services between municipalities and school districts, and continuing increases in medical expenses, educa-

Letters to the editor policy Sun Thisweek welcomes letters to the editor. Submitted letters must be no more than 350 words. All letters must have the author’s phone number and address for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be accepted. Letters reflect the opinion of the author only. Sun Thisweek reserves the right to edit all letters. Submission of a letter does not guarantee publication.

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tion costs, and a downward trend in average incomes. These very factors may be opportunities for us to design our state smarter, without making life harder. The wealth, if you will, of talented, retired people can be a community asset we might well find ways to use. The ability of local units of government service to collaborate and share seems like an idea whose time has come. And the challenges of spiraling expenses for health and schools while we make less money stand as stimuli to all our creative juices. In redesigning Minnesota, we can shift our tax policies to reflect the values of equality, we can continue to create new, accessible ways to be healthy, and develop our futures in ways not limited to accumulation of wealth in the hands of the lucky few. The picture is a both puzzle and key.

to school in which I tutor. How often can a person claim that? After I left my job to complete my bachelors’ degree, I took a leap of faith and quit. I finished my degree then earned my master’s in public and nonprofit administration and went searching for my next “calling.” With the Minnesota Reading Corps, I was intrigued to find a program that focused on literacy and is the largest state AmeriCorps program in the country with proven results in impacting literacy. Shortly after becoming a tutor, my sister was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. The prognosis was bleak. We sat together at chemo sessions, scheduled a family reunion, and had sleepovers. We talked about my new tutoring position. She asked every day about the kids, she loved to hear about their successes. My sister passed away in Paul Hoffinger December. I knew that I Eagan was where I should be and blessed with time to listen and share stories. It’s about My work became even changing lives more meaningful as I realize the impact literacy has. To the editor: As a literacy tutor with I am able to make a differthe Minnesota Reading ence in young people’s lives Corps, I can’t wait to get that is critical for long-

term success and altering their lives’ trajectories. The joy that I receive from seeing a student’s self esteem rise fills me. They become excited about their growth. I can still see their eyes light up and the smile beam across their faces as they see their own progress. I also believe my sister smiles with them. This year has been unforgettable! That’s why I felt compelled to sign up for another year of service. Minnesota Reading Corps is recruiting more than 1,000 tutors in Dakota and Scott counties. If you are looking for a way to give back, do something meaningful, are in between jobs, or just graduating … consider becoming a literacy tutor (or math tutor with Minnesota Math Corps). When you see the impact on students every day, a year of service is worth the commitment. For details about the opportunities, go to www. MinnesotaReadingCorps. org or Colleen Callahan Shakopee

Swecker announces council re-election bid Lakeville City Council Member Kerrin Swecker announced on Tuesday that she will seek reelection this fall. “It has been my privilege to represent the residents of L a kev i l l e,” Kerrin Swecker said Swecker in a press release. “I am excited to continue to be the fiscally conservative, moderate voice, representing the community as a whole.” Swecker, a former Planning Commission chairwoman, currently serves as a member of the Personnel and Public Safety committees, delegate to the League

of Minnesota Cities, Dakota County High Performance Partnership member and as an alternate to the Dakota Communications Center Board of Directors. “With my Planning Commission background, I have always placed an emphasis on smart growth and wise investments in the city’s roads, parks and trails infrastructure in a cost-effective way and the wise use of city assets including the repurposing of the former police station to meet the growing needs of the senior center, historical society and the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon group,” Swecker said. Swecker, who was appointed to the City Council in August 2007 and won

her current seat in 2008, has served as a former member of the Lakeville Police reserves, the I-35 Solutions Alliance, the Downtown Lakeville Business Association and the Fire Relief Committee. She said the city needs to continue to focus on economic growth by attracting and retaining businesses. Swecker, an account manager for CenturyLink, has been married to her husband Jaime for 25 years. They have three children: Shauna Calabrase, sonin-law Shawn Calabrase, Christy Swecker and Dana Swecker. Swecker has lived in Lakeville since 1991. – Tad Johnson

Nonprofit seeks volunteers

volunteer-driven organization that serves older adults. Volunteers would help with tabulating fares and sorting fare tickets. Volunteers are needed either Thursday or Friday for a couple hours during business

office hours. To volunteer or for more information, contact Barb Tiggemann, (651) 455-1560 or barb.tiggemann@darts1. org, or visit

DARTS is seeking volunteers one day a week to support its transit fare recording duties at its office in West St. Paul. DARTS is a nonprofit,

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Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville August 17, 2012



August 17, 2012 Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville

exchange, from 3A Leebens said. “They’re just ready to transition out of this one.” Adjacent to the Exchange and Larson buildings is the Otten building which is two-thirds full, but has one 3,000-square-foot leased space available. Formerly home to Shidor, a consignment store, owner Paul Otten said he has had inquiries from many varied businesses after recently posting a “for lease” sign in the window. He expects it will rent out soon and has a positive outlook for the economy. “I love Farmington,” Otten said. “It’s got a smalltown feeling, but yet it’s a city that has seen a lot of growth.” He predicted the economy will recover and said the area is “poised for growth in population.” “That will bring in a number of franchises who are limited to going into areas with only certain size population,” Otten said, “and once the franchises come in they’ll all want to be in and that will take care of those vacancies in no time.” Among other Farmington commercial buildings for sale is the former Oasis gas station, located off Highway 3 and on the market by owners eager to sell. Charlie Hornig, senior

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Photo by Laura Adelmann

The price was slashed more than 50 percent for this former gas station off of busy Highway 3 in Farmington. analyst with OP2C Farmington LLC, said the company works with banks to purchase distressed properties, brings them through bankruptcy and resells them at a discount. Hornig said the company purchased the 5,000-squarefoot Oasis building with 21 others in the Upper Midwest, and the Farmington property is one of three remaining. First listed at $495,000, the price has dropped to $229,000. “Basically, we had this budgeted,” Hornig said. “We need to be out of these stations by year-end. Literally, it’s just kind of a fire sale at this point, and we expect it to move quickly.” Hornig said the prop-

erty, which has weeds growing through concrete and has become home to some abandoned furniture and mattresses, is a bargain for someone looking for a prime location and willing to clean it up. “This is going to be a great opportunity for someone,” he said. To explore Farmington’s list of 19 commercial properties or spaces for purchase or lease, go to www., and under the “For Business” tab, click on “Available Property” for contact information. Laura Adelmann is at laura. or

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Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville August 17, 2012

Lakeville’s South Metro Dance Academy expands School moves into Train America building

by Aaron M. Vehling Sun Thisweek

One day in early August, Jeanne Johnson walked around what would be her dance company’s new space in the Train America building on County Road 70 in south Lakeville. Flooring, fixtures and other essentials were still in their formative stages. Sawdust abounded and Johnson beamed. Crews have worked steadily to transform what was a Saints Sports Academy athletic center on the second floor of the building into the South Metro Dance Academy’s new 27,000-square-foot space, preparing it for SMDA’s Aug. 16 grand opening. The Saints are in the process of moving downstairs to the first floor, which also houses an extension of the Northfield Hospital and Clinics, among other things. In its seventh year, SMDA boasts more than 300 students who study a variety of dance styles, such as ballet, jazz, tap, modern and competitive lines and kick teams. Almost a third are involved in competitions, Johnson said. But the pressure was on at the former site near the Southfork shopping area. “We just grew out of the space,” Johnson said. “When kids would come out of the classrooms there was nowhere to go.” The new space relieves that. In addition to four studios, there is ample waiting room space. Kids going to the studio after school will have a place to eat or hang out before or after class, and parents will be able to wait for their children’s classes to conclude, Johnson said. SMDA would have to hit 600 students before the seams would burst. The Saints moved into the Train America building in 2009 and recently sought to expand into 57,000 square feet of space on the first floor that was occupied by Match Point Tennis Center, according to a press release from the Saints. Like Johnson’s business, the Saints expansion is expected to be completed this month.

Photo by Aaron M. Vehling

The South Metro Dance Academy in Lakeville has opened in its new location at the Train America building in southern Lakeville. The facility also houses the Saints training camp. “That was a rush,” she said, referring to the energy and the sound in the Metrodome. “I like to perform.” Johnson has also taught dance and been a dance coach for 15 years. She coached at Farmington, Lakeville North and Lakeville South high schools. She was the director of the Shakey-Shakeys Pom Line, a group of dancers with the Lakeville North marching band. With them, she traveled to Washington, D.C., for President George W. Bush’s 2005 inauguration parade, in addition to going to Pasadena, Calif., for the Rose Bowl parade in 2007. In 2006 came the opportunity to start the SMDA

with Meg, her business partner and former dance team student. Over time, balancing the demands of both Lakeville North and SMDA became overwhelming, Johnson said. So when her business partner left SMDA recently to work in a family business, Johnson decided to go full-time with the dance academy. “Lucky for me, my passion is my job,” Johnson said. The art of dance can be so dynamic, conforming to the whims of societal trends. For example, doing the “Roger Rabbit” in 1991 and in 2012 elicits very different responses.

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Beginnings Johnson got her start dancing when she was 3 and living in Inver Grove Heights. She spent time at dance studios and on the dance team at Simley High School. She was even a cheerleader for the Minnesota Vikings.

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August 17, 2012 Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville

Levy may increase 3 percent Farmington City Council to set 2013 levy maximum next month by Laura Adelmann Sun Thisweek

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After months of review and revision, Farmington City Administrator Dave McKnight’s latest budget proposal includes a tax levy increase of 3.87 percent in 2013. The increase would raise another $331,699 for the city, bringing the net levy to $8.8 million if approved by City Council later this year. This year, the net levy was $8.5 million. McKnight’s two-year outlook shows that in 2014, the net levy would increase by 2.94 percent ($261,420) to $9.1 million. That was the levy amount proposed for 2013 in an version of the budget a few weeks ago. This most recent budget version was presented to Mayor Todd Larson and Council Members Jason Bartholomay and Terry Donnel-

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ly at an Aug. 13 budget workshop; Council Members Julie May and Christy Jo Fogarty did not attend the meeting. More changes are likely before preliminary approval this fall, in part because the city will know the amount of fiscal disparities funding it is slated to receive next year. McKnight said he expects to learn that amount this week and will meet with Dakota County officials to authenticate figures before announcing the cost the proposed budget increase would have on an average-valued home and business. The proposed 2013 budget’s biggest cost-drivers include $135,000 for a new fire truck; revenue projections that more accurately reflect the city’s actual income and decrease it by $230,000; and an accounting change that includes $107,000 for compensatory pay, historically the funding was spent but not included in many department budgets. According to the budget summary, the city’s biggest

spending departments in 2013 would be police at $3.9 million, parks and recreation at $1.2 million and fire at $980,217. This year, the police budgeted to spend $3.8 million; parks and recreation $1.2 million and administration $1.03 million. McKnight’s proposed budget shows that next year, administration expenses would be cut over 7 percent to $962,319, and human resources/IT would drop over 15 percent, from $248,329 to $210,153, primarily due to staffing changes. City Council members will review the budget in September when the maximum preliminary levy is set; the final levy, passed in December, can be reduced but cannot exceed the preliminary levy.

the city return to purchasing mowers and a skid steer instead of leasing that will ultimately save the city about $18,000 by 2015 by cutting out lease payments. When the equipment needs to be replaced, the city will have equipment to trade in, reducing the purchase cost as well. City Engineer Kevin Schorzman was not at the meeting, but proposed increasing from $930 to $1,350 the money spent on training because there is a move toward more design and inspection using city staff. Council Member Jason Bartholomay questioned a note in Schorzman’s budget that stated there are no projects planned in the near future, and asked if the city should re-evaluate the number of employees in the engiBudgets reviewed neering department. City Council members McKnight said he would also reviewed the proposed discuss the note with Schorzbudgets of engineering and man and respond later. municipal services. Municipal Services Direc- Laura Adelmann is at laura. tor Todd Reiten proposed

dance, from 7A “I stay on top of the new choreography,” Johnson said, referencing the various conventions, seminars and training sessions she attends. Johnson also maintains heavy involvement in the dance industry in general. Recently, she was the head choreographer for halftime performances during Timberwolves and Swarm games. A staff of 10, all with extensive backgrounds in various dance styles, helps Johnson keep her business strong and relevant. Some moonlight as coaches of local dance teams, while others are involved in professional ballet companies.

Photo submitted

These girls, students of the South Metro Dance Academy in Lakeville, will now practice their craft in a vastly expanded new space in the Train America building in Lakeville. SMDA currently has about 300 students. Opening a small business and seeing it through expansion can offer up some challenges, but Johnson does not agree. “I always have a positive outlook,” she said. “My

passion drives me toward success.” Aaron M. Vehling can be reached at aaron.vehling@ or facebook. com/sunthisweek.

Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville August 17, 2012

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August 17, 2012 Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville

Photo by Tad Johnson

Senate District 57 DFL candidate Greg Clausen greets people along the Rosemount Leprechaun Days Grand Parade route in July. Clausen is a former Rosemount High School principal and Apple Valley resident.

Former principal wins Senate primary Clausen will face Hall in general election

by Tad Johnson Sun Thisweek

Former Rosemount High School principal Greg Clausen won Tuesday’s DFL Senate District 57 primary with an unofficial vote total of 1,456 to 395 over Mike Germain, a two-time general election DFL candidate in the Apple Valley-Rosemount area, according to Dakota County election returns. Clausen will face Republican candidate Pat Hall, a pastor and former insurance agent and Rosemount Police chaplain, in the general election for the open seat that has been held by Republican Chris Gerlach since 2004. The primary comes a few months after the DFL endorsement convention when Clausen sought the nomination in making his first ap-

peal to delegates. Clausen, an Apple Valley resident, won endorsement on the second ballot over Germain after narrowly missing the 60 percent of votes needed on the first ballot. Clausen earned it on the second ballot. The primary race could have been close since Germain, also an Apple Valley resident, is known to voters since he had twice had run against Gerlach. Clausen gathered up 79 percent of the votes Tuesday night. Gerlach, who defeated Germain by 8 percentage points in 2006 and 19 in 2010, announced in February that he would not seek re-election. Germain campaigned mostly through a door-

knocking campaign, posting yard signs and maintaining a Facebook page, which garnered 82 likes. Clausen also engaged in a door-knocking campaign, posted yard signs, placed ads in local media and had a campaign Facebook page with 182 likes. He also gathered up endorsements from Minnesota AFL-CIO, AFSCME Council 5, Education Minnesota and the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association, among others. Boundaries for Senate District 57 include Rosemount, Apple Valley, Coates and a portion of Lakeville. Tad Johnson can be reached at tad.johnson@ecm-inc. com or

Farmington Briefs Fall catalogs in the mail The Farmington Area Community Education fall catalog will be mailed this week. ECFE catalogs were mailed in late July.

Comedy improv at Farmington Library Comedy Improv with SteppingStone Theatre will be offered for teens ages 12 to 18 from 3 to 4 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 23, at the Farmington Library. Learn the basics of comedy improvisation, slapstick movement and joke telling. Registration required. The library is at 508 Third St. Call (651) 438-0250 for more information.

Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville August 17, 2012

Take bus to State Fair Minnesota Valley Transit Authority buses will run to the State Fair Aug. 23 through Sept. 3 weekdays (except Labor Day) from Burnsville High School and the Burnsville Transit Station. Buses will depart on the hour from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Buses will leave the State Fair to return to BTS and Burnsville High School, every 60 minutes (on the hour) from noon to midnight. Rest rooms are available at the Burnsville Transit Station, but not at Burnsville High School. On Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day, buses will operate to/from the State Fair from the Burnsville and Eagan transit stations. Buses will leave BTS, as well as the Eagan Transit

Station at Pilot Knob and Yankee Doodle Roads, every 30 minutes from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Buses will return to BTS and ETS every 30 minutes from noon to midnight. Round-trip fare is $5 cash for all riders age 6 and older; fares are free for children 5 and under. Exact fare is required in the form of dollar bills and/or coins. Advance purchase bus tickets are available through Aug. 21 from Individual tickets can be purchased for $4 (value $5); a group of four tickets can be purchased for $15 (value $20). These tickets can be used on the MVTA State Fair Express buses.

mayor, from 1A

of unallotment from the state of Minnesota in market value homestead credit without adding it to the levy,” Larson said. He said the council cannot create jobs but provides places for people to open businesses and has done so. Larson said everyone has the right to campaign for mayor, but he believes in his leadership. “A lot of people believe in my leadership,” he said. “The city is going in the right direction, and we’re correcting a lot of mistakes that have happened in the past and moving forward in a positive way.” Four candidates are running to fill two seats on the Farmington City Council. The candidates are Doug Bonar, Terry Donnelly, an incumbent, and Kirk Zeaman. Lenny Hall filed, but has since said he would drop out of the race. The election is Nov. 6.

way meetings are run, and respecting the people that want to come to the podium. I’m not going to be one who says you’ve got five minutes — I’m not going to cut anyone off at five minutes.” Larson said he is following city policy that calls for five minutes at the podium. Earlier this year, residents attending a meeting were unable to speak about the liquor store location because it was not a public hearing. Calling it a “rock-andhard-place” position, Larson said he was also criticized in the past by people who did not attend the meetings for allowing comment on agenda items that were not scheduled for a public hearing. In an interview, Larson said the city has tightened its financial belt during his tenure. “Since I took office, we’re down 13 full-time positions, we were able to absorb around $1 million

Laura Adelmann is at laura. or

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August 17, 2012 Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville

Thisweekend Latest role finds Lakeville actor among the mermaids Andy Wilkins featured at Renaissance Festival’s new Mermaid Cove latest in what has been a busy year in theater for Wilkins, a 2003 Lakeville High School graduate who works as a voiceover artist and copy writer for a Bloomington ad agency. This month he’s also serving as director of “The Odd Couple,” which is being presented by community theater group Expressions on the stage of the Lakeville Area Arts Center. And 2012 also saw Wilkins’ silverscreen debut. “House of Ghosts,” a camp-horror film shot in the Twin Cities, had Wilkins playing a spiritmedium leading a seance-like scene, complete with crystal ball. The film from cult director Christopher Mihm premiered in May. More about Mermaid Cove and the Renaissance Festival is at www.

by Andrew Miller Sun Thisweek

Andy Wilkins has been brushing up on mermaid lore. It’s research for the 27-year-old Lakeville actor’s latest role, which will see him portraying the salty sea captain Jonas Fairweather and recounting oceanic adventures at this year’s Renaissance Festival. The storytelling sea captain is a featured part of Mermaid Cove, the new family-friendly attraction at the annual festival in Shakopee, which this year runs weekends Aug. 18 to Sept. 30. Adorned in a Royal Navy-like costume, Wilkins will tell the tale of how he met the mermaid Ambrosia as guests watch the exotic female sea creature twirl and flip her tail of shimmering scales in a pool of water nearby. The role marks Wilkins’ first time performing at the Renaissance Festival, which he’s been attending reli-

giously since early childhood. “I usually go a couple times a year,” he said. “My parents began Andrew Miller can be reached at andrew. taking me when I was 5 or 6, and I or try to go at least once every year.” sunthisweek. Andy Wilkins The Renaissance Festival gig is the

Cancer free, Lakeville musician gives back with benefit concert Third annual Jug Jam set Aug. 19

by Andrew Miller Sun Thisweek

This past June marked three years since the end of Iris Bouvet’s battle with breast cancer. The Lakeville resident is throwing a party to celebrate the anniversary, and to raise money for a medical fund through the Fairview Foundation that helped Photo submitted cover her treatment costs. Iris Bouvet is receiving a hand from her son, J.P., in staging this year’s Jug Jam breast cancer The third annual Jug Jam fundraiser. J.P., a 2007 Lakeville South High School graduate who earlier this year was crowned breast cancer fundraiser champion in the national Guitar Center Drum Off, will be performing with his band The Super runs from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19, at Family of Pilots at the event. Christ Lutheran Church in Lakeville. It features food and musical entertainment

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by local bands. “It’s a way to give back, but it’s really a celebration,” said Bouvet, who’s organizing this year’s Jug Jam with friends Sue Linden, Carla Maslonka and Lauren Iannaci. “We want to have a good time.” Bouvet, who endured months of chemotherapy and underwent a double mastectomy, had genetic testing that insurance didn’t cover during her battle with breast cancer. Fortunately, her doctor, Dr. Barbara Bowers of Fairview Southdale, has a medical fund to cover that, and money raised through Jug Jam will be donated to the fund to help other women who find themselves in that situation. It’s no wonder the fundraiser took the form of a concert, considering Bouvet’s background in music. She’s a former music director at Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Burnsville, plays the electric bass, and has lent her music skills to

local theater groups such as Chameleon Theatre Circle and Eagan Summer Community Theatre. Bouvet’s son, J.P., will be performing with his band The Super Pilots at the event. A 2007 Lakeville South High School graduate who earlier this year was crowned champion in the national Guitar Center Drum Off, J.P. is joined in the Super Pilots by guitarist and Apple Valley High School alumnus Mike Linden, along with two of their classmates from the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Also on the fundraiser concert’s list of acts are The Anderson Brothers, made up of siblings Ryan and Aaron Anderson, vocal group The Nice Girls, and singer-songwriter Wade Linkert. Admission to the all-ages event is $10 for adults, $5 for students, and includes a “taco in a bag” meal. For more information about Jug Jam, contact Iris Bouvet at ibouvet@mac. com. Andrew Miller can be reached at or

Canvas & Vines tickets on sale Tickets are on sale for Canvas & Vines, the annual Burnsville Convention & Visitors Bureau fundraiser set from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. The evening will include wine, craft beer, food, art, music and a silent auction. Admission is $35. Guests must be 21 or older to attend. Call (952) 895-4690 for more information and to purchase tickets, or visit

Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville August 17, 2012

family calendar To submit items for the Family Calendar, email: darcy.

Thursday, Aug. 23 Thursday Rockin’ Readers – Sioux Trail Principal Taber Akin, 11:15 a.m., Nicollet Commons Park, 12600 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville. Free. Thursday Rockin’ Lunch Hour – Bob the Beachcomber, noon, Nicollet Commons Park, 12600 Nicollet Ave., Burnsville. Free.

Saturday, Aug. 18 Open house from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Lexington Pet Clinic, 4250 Lexington Ave. S., Eagan. Bouncy house, tours of the clinic, animals from Sea Life Aquarium, Koi Club, face painting, Wags and Whiskers, and prizes. Dogs welcome. Free. Information: www.lexingtonpet- Friday, Aug. 24 Outdoor movie, “ blanca,” 7:30 p.m. seating, dusk showtime, part of Burnsville’s Sunday, Aug. 19 Open house from 1 to 5 p.m. “Flicks on the Bricks” series at at the Lutz Railroad Garden, Nicollet Commons Park in the 2960 Egan Ave., Eagan. Free. Heart of the City. Trains will not run if raining. InSaturday, Aug. 25 formation: (651) 454-3534. Free Movie Night – “Amaz- Kids & More Back-toing Love: The Story of Ho- School Sale from 8 a.m. to sea,” 6 p.m. at Hope Church, 5 p.m. at Ames Arena, 19900 7477 145th St. W., Apple Valley. Ipava Ave., Lakeville. Clothing No cost, but a free-will offering from infant to adult, toys, books, will be taken. Popcorn provided. home decor, sports equipment, Information: www.hopechurchc- and more. Free parking and admission. Drawing to win a prize or (952) 431-6500. package worth over $200 Saturday only. Information: http:// Tuesday, Aug. 21 Family Fun Tuesday – Z Puppets Rosenschnoz’s “The Pet vaccination clinic from Comical Misadventures of Mr. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Windmill Punch” Puppet Show, 10 to 11 Feed and Pet, 350 Main St., a.m. in the Sculpture Garden at Elko New Market. Discounted Caponi Art Park, Eagan. $4 per fee. No appointment needed. microchipping, person donation is suggested. Vaccinations, Information: (651) 454-9412 or heart-worm testing and more. Additional health care Tuesday Evenings in the ucts available. Pets must be on Garden – Harvesting the Herb leashes or in carriers. A portion Garden with Shari Mayer, of the proceeds will be donated 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the garden at to Windmill Animal Rescue. InUMore Park, 1605 160th St. W. formation: (952) 461-2765. (County Road 46), Rosemount. For a fresh garden taste all win- Sunday, Aug. 26 ter long, learn how to gather, Kids & More Back-todry and store herbs. Fee: $10. School Sale from 9 a.m. to Questions or to register by 2 p.m. at Ames Arena, 19900 phone, call University of Minne- Ipava Ave., Lakeville. Discount sota Extension: (651) 480-7700. Day, with many items half price. Information: Wednesday, Aug. 22 Eagan Market Fest, 4 to 8 10th anniversary celebrap.m., Eagan Festival Grounds. tion for Arbors at Ridges and Farmers market and blues con- Ebenezer Child Care Center, cert featuring Jeff Ray & Hur- 4 to 6:30 p.m., 13810 Commuricane Harold and Cool Dispo- nity Drive, Burnsville. Free food, sition along with free kids’ art, games for all ages, prizes and family games and more. Infor- live Big Band entertainment. Inmation: formation: (952) 898-8419. marketfest or (651) 675-5500.

theater and arts calendar ville Performing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Ave. Tickets are $20 for adults; $17 for students/ seniors; $17 for groups of eight or more. Tickets are available at the Comedy Mark Poolos with special box office, or by guest Justin Caesar at 8:30 calling (800) 982-2787. p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, and Saturday, Aug. 18, at MinneHAHA Workshops/classes Comedy Club, 1583 E. First Ave., Allegro Choral Academy is Shakopee (lower level of Dan- currently accepting registrations gerfield’s), (612) 860-9388, www. for its 2012-13 season for dents in second to eighth grade. Classes available in Rosemount Tickets: $13. and Lakeville. Early bird discount if registered before Aug. 24. RegConcerts The 4onthefloor with Char- istration information: http://www. lie Parr, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. or nmarschall@al18, Subway Music in the Zoo, Minnesota Zoo amphitheater, Intermediate digital phoApple Valley. Cost: $20. Tickets tography workshop from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 18, available at Monroe Crossing, 6:30 p.m. at Caponi Art Park, Eagan. Free, Sunday, Aug. 19, at Caponi Art $5 suggested donation. RegistraPark, 1220 Diffley Road, Eagan. tion required. Information: www. Suggested donation: $5. Rain lo- or (651) 454cation: Crossroads Church, 4100 9412. Lexington Way, Eagan. Informa- Adult painting open studio tion: or from 9 a.m. to noon the first and third Fridays of the month at the (651) 454-9412. Summer Salon chamber Eagan Art House, 3981 Lexington concert at 8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. Ave. S. Fee is $5 per session. In25, at Presbyterian Church of formation: (651) 675-5521. the Apostles, 701 E. 130th St., Music Together in the ValBurnsville. Suggested donation: ley offers classes for parents and $20. Information: (952) 890-7877 their infant, toddler and preschool children in Rosemount, Farmingor The Suburbs with Magno- ton, Lakeville and Apple Valley. lias, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. Information: www.musictogether30, Subway Music in the Zoo, or (651) 439-4219. Minnesota Zoo amphitheater, The Eagan Art House offers Apple Valley. Cost: $34. Tickets classes for all ages. For a complete listing go to www.eaganartavailable at Little Feat with Tom Fuller or call (651) 675-5521. Band, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. Dan Petrov Art Studio in 2, Subway Music in the Zoo, Min- Burnsville offers oil painting nesota Zoo amphitheater, Apple classes for beginners, intermeValley. Cost: $34. Tickets avail- diate and advanced skill level painters,, able at (763) 843-2734. Teens Express Yourself Exhibits/art shows A botanical art exhibit by The with Paint, 5 to 7 p.m. Mondays Great River Chapter of Botanical at Brushworks School of Art in www.BrushworksSArtists is on display through Sept. Burnsville, 16 at the Lakeville Area Arts Cen-, (651) 214-4732. ter, 20965 Holyoke Ave. Informa- Drama/theater classes for ages 4 and up at River Ridge Arts tion: (952) 985-4640. Pilgrims and Passages, a Building, Burnsville, (952) 736joint exhibit featuring art by An- 3644. thony Donatelle and Jon Reischl, Special needs theater prois on display through Sept. 8 in gram (autism-DCD), ages 5 and the gallery at Burnsville Perform- older, Burnsville, (952) 736-3644. ing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Join other 55-plus adults at Ave. For more information, call the Eagan Art House to create (952) 895-4676 or visit www. beaded jewelry. The Jewelry Club meets on the third Friday Summer art show by local of each month from 1 to 3 p.m. artist Amie Kieffer from 4 to 8 p.m. Information: (651) 675-5500. Aug. 17-18 at 3245 145th St. W., Savage Art Studios, 4735 Rosemount. The outdoor show W. 123rd St., Suite 200, Savwill include about 60 original piec- age, offers classes/workshops es; many will be for sale. Informa- for all ages. Information: www. or (952) tion: 895-0375. Soy candle making classes Festivals Art and All That Jazz Fes- held weekly in Eagan near 55 tival, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, and Yankee Doodle. Call Jamie Aug. 18, Nicollet Commons Park, at (651) 315-4849 for dates and Burnsville. Free admission. In- times. $10 per person. Presented formation: www.burnsvilleartjazz. by Making Scents in Minnesota. Country line dance classes com. Burnsville Fire Muster runs held for intermediates Mondays Sept. 5-9. Information: www. 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Rambling River Center, 325 Oak St., ington, $5/class. Call Marilyn (651) 463-7833. Theater Expressions Community The- Country line dance classes ater will present “The Odd Cou- on Wednesdays at the Lakeville ple” at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17-18, and Senior Center, 20732 Holt Ave. 2 p.m. Aug. 19 at the Lakeville Beginners, 9-10 a.m.; IntermediArea Arts Center, 20965 Holyoke ate, 10 a.m.-noon. $5/class. Call Ave. Tickets are $12 and can be Marilyn (651) 463-7833. ordered at www.lakeville-rapcon- The Lakeville Area Arts or by calling (952) 985- ter offers arts classes for all ages,, (952) 4640. The Chameleon Theatre 985-4640. Circle’s 13th annual New Play Festival will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, at the BurnsTo submit items for the Arts Calendar, email: darcy.


Mystery author at bookstore event Blood drives The American Red Cross will hold the following blood drives. Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit to make an appointment or for more information. • Aug. 17, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wings Financial Credit Union, 14985 Glazier Ave., Apple Valley. • Aug. 17, 2 to 8 p.m., Carmike 15 Theatres, 15630 Cedar Ave., Apple Valley. • Aug. 18, 10:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., Burnhaven Library, 1101 W. County Road 42, Burnsville. • Aug. 20, 1 to 6 p.m., Rasmussen College, 3500 Federal Drive, Eagan. • Aug. 20, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Minnesota School of Business, 17685 Juniper Path, Lakeville. • Aug. 20, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Unisys, 3199 Pilot Knob Road, Eagan. • Aug. 21, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Family of Christ Lutheran Church, 10970 185th St. W., Lakeville. • Aug. 24, noon to 5 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church, 7800 W. County Road 42, Apple Valley. • Aug. 24, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Westview Elementary School, 225 Garden View Drive, Apple Valley. Ongoing Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), a national Christian nondenominational program for mothers with children birthkindergarten, will meet twice a month from September through May at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville. MOPS moms need not be members of the church to join. The group offers participants a way to connect with other moms, form friendships, seek parenting advice, and learn more about Christian life. Registration is being accepted and onsite day care is provided for a small fee on a first-come, firstserved basis. Information/registration: (952) 898-9356 or email MOPS@princeofpeaceonline. org.

Apple Valley author Jeffrey Burton will be signing copies of his latest novel, “The Chessman,” at Once Upon a Crime Mystery Bookstore this weekend. The book-signing event runs from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18, at the bookstore located at 604 W. 26th St. in Minneapolis. “The Chessman,” a crime thriller about a serial killer who’s hunting his own copycat, is Burton’s third book of fiction. In Jeffrey Burton 2005 he published the short story collection “Shadow “Sleuth Slayer” – a crime Play,” and his debut novel, thriller co-written with

his father, Bruce Burton – came out in 2008. Publication of “The Chessman” in May generated buzz nationally, with the novel receiving reviews in the New York Journal of Books, Midwest Book Review and Suspense Magazine. Publishers Weekly listed “The Chessman” among the best new books for the week of May 21. More about the author is at www.JeffreyBBurton. com. —Andrew Miller

theater and arts briefs ‘Steel Kiss’ in Burnsville

tary sandwich and drink (while supplies last) before the show. Dinner will be served in the lobby begin The Chameleon Theatre Circle has partnered with ning at 5:30 p.m. Segue Productions to present “Steel Kiss” Sept. 7-9 at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center, 12600 Nicollet Caponi Art Park and Ave., Burnsville. Perfor- Learning Center in Eagan mances will take place at will host the Society for Anachronism’s 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 7-8 and Creative 2 p.m. on Sept. 9. Tickets annual Medieval Fair from are $13 for adults and $10 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, for students, seniors and Sept. 30. groups. Tickets can be pur- The park’s woods will be chased at the box office or transformed into a mediby calling (952) 895-4680. eval village with authentic pavilions, costumes, music, art, cooking, weaponry and interactive demonstrations. New this year will be a coin-making demonstra The IMAX Theatre at tion and Angora goats and the Minnesota Zoo in Ap- rabbits at one of the pavilple Valley will host Family ions. Night on Monday, Aug. Admission is free, with 20. a $5 per person suggested Guests who purchase donation. The event will one adult admission be held rain or shine, and ($9.75) to the 6:30 p.m. will only be canceled due showing of “Born to Be to severe weather. ParkWild” will receive one free ing will be available in the child’s admission to the park’s main lot at 1220 movie and a complimen- Diffley Road, as well as

Medieval Fair

IMAX family night

the Lexington-Diffley Athletic Field lot. Signs will be posted. More information is available at

Chorale has new director Russell Adrian has been appointed as artistic director of the South Metro Chorale effective July 1 He holds a master’s degree in choral conducting from the University of WisconsinMadison. Chorale rehearsals begin Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. at Hidden Oaks Middle School in Prior Lake. Those interested in auditioning should call Adrian at (316) 2175525 or email director@ Auditions are currently being scheduled for Aug. 25. SMC’s first concerts with Adrian are Dec. 8 and 9. For details, visit: www.



August 17, 2012 Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville

Lakeville North looking for another smash Panther girls soccer hoping to avoid one-hit-wonder status by Andy Rogers Sun Thisweek

Photo by Andy Rogers

Lakeville North girls soccer players scrimmage against one another during practice on Tuesday. The girls retern several starters from a team that won the South Suburban Conference in 2011.

Tiger girls soccer expecting to rewrite record book Farmington has sights set on conference title, playoff win

by Andy Rogers Sun Thisweek

The Farmington girls soccer team is looking to write a new chapter in its history this season – perhaps titled “Playoff Success.” The girls have yet to win a section playoff game in school history and they have yet to finish higher than third in the Missota Conference. “At some point that is a mental hurdle as much as a physical one,” head coach Rob Carpentier said. “We have the talent, but will we have the mental strength to be successful on a whole new level?” Even as one of the youngest big-school teams in the metro, the girls have their sights set on the top of the conference with a playoff victory in mind. “Honestly, we are the pretty clear favorite in the Missota,” Carpentier said. “Chanhassen will be good and Holy Angels and Shakopee have some talent, but overall the conference is a bit down.” Northfield, last season’s conference champion, lost nine starters. There’s plenty of talent within the Tiger program. Carpentier said there were too many promising newcomers for him to name them all. The ninthgrade and B-squad teams from 2011 won their conference titles and the junior varsity finished second. The varsity squad finished with a .500 record last season and many of those same girls are back. The Tigers have 17 returning letter-winners who

started at least two games. Eight of them were consistent starters. “Even with all of those returners, they will be pushed, especially by the sophomores who were an exceptional team last season,” Carpentier said. “The program is going to be very talented, top to bottom.” Izzie Ferm and Kelli Elmer lead the defense after being named all-conference honorable mention last season. With a skillful and deep lineup, Carpentier feels the Tigers can match up with “virtually any other (Class) AA school in both areas.” “We probably will find ourselves fielding a varsity squad that is made up entirely of girls who were either Premier or (Classic 1) players for their club teams,” Carpentier said. Six seniors graduated from last year’s team, but Carpentier said he believes the Tigers have replacements ready. “We’ve gotten to a point as a program that, short of a once-in-a-generation player, we should expect to replace anyone who graduates with someone who is just as talented and driven,” Carpentier said. “We are a very deep program now and we will be for the foreseeable future.” The girls begin their regular season at Faribault on Thursday. Andy Rogers can be reached at com or

After a season like the Lakeville North girls soccer team had in 2011, it’s hard for the players to not be excited to get the ball rolling again. Not only did the Panthers have perhaps their best season ever, but they also were one of the best teams in the state. The girls won the South Suburban Conference championship, found themselves ranked No. 1 in the state after winning the Section 1AA tournament, and qualified for the Class AA state tournament for just the second time. The story at state didn’t have a happy ending. The girls lost to eventual Class AA champion Wayzata in a shootout during the semifinals and eventually finished fourth. North had an 18-2-2 record, but both losses came in the state tournament. “They were disappointed,” co-head coach Bulut Ozturk said. “It’s normal. They understand we’re a newer program trying to emerge as a contender. It’s important not to be a onehit wonder. It’s important for the program to build on (last year’s success).” “It was a great learning opportunity,” defender Sammy Deutsch said. “We definitely want to get back (to play at the Metrodome) again.” The good news is that several cornerstones have laced up their shoes for another run at state, including senior captain Simone Kolander, one of the top returning players in Minnesota. “I believe this is her year,” Ozturk said. “I believe she’s going to be Miss Soccer when it’s all over.” Ozturk said the Panthers plan to maximize Kolander’s ability by not limiting her to one spot on

the field. “There’s a lot of open positions ready to be filled,” Kolander said. “Sometimes I’ll be at forward, sometimes center mid, and even defense if we need to lock it in against a real attacking team. I’m just trying to help the team. I’m up for whatever.” “She’s a complete player,” Ozturk said. Kolander led the team in goals and assists last season. “She’s involved in everything,” Ozturk said. “When you watch her play, she’ll draw three-four players to her, so it opens up everyone around her.” But many of the girls she used to pass to have since graduated. “Every other team lost good seniors,” Kolander said. “It will be different but I think we can be just as good.” This season she’s looking for attackers Alexa Trakalo and Sarah Fisco to help. Defense should be a strong point with Lauren Brownrigg, Lauren Sherry and Deutsch returning along with goalkeeper Alexis Joyce. Last season the Panthers gave up just 0.4 goals per game during the regular season. Even with a number of new starters, “we’re hoping to keep our style of play the same,” Ozturk said. “We like to maintain possession and play with a purpose before we make a goal. It’s a lot of quick passes.” Ozturk mentioned Grace Rath, Ellen Moran and Chloe Wikstrom as potential varsity players, but tryouts were ongoing this week with the coaches hoping to finalize the roster by Saturday. The final roster will be called on to protect Lakeville North’s status as one

of the teams to beat this season in the South Suburban Conference, section and state. Avoiding one-hit wonder status is important to the girls. Last year was too much fun. “We weren’t sure at the beginning of last year where we were going to place,” Trakalo said. “It never went to our head. We want to continue from what we did last year. We had a ton of new players last year, too. Now that we’ve settled in and had a chance to get to know the new coaches, we’re not nervous about it as much.” The girls hope this is just the beginning. “I want everybody to think when they play Lakeville North. I want them to be scared,” Brownrigg said. The Panthers start with a home game against Minneapolis Washburn on Friday, Aug. 24.

Boys soccer The Panthers were sixth in the South Suburban in 2011, which wasn’t indicative of how the boys played – especially early, with a conference featuring Eastview, Bloomington Jefferson and Eagan, three of the top teams in the state. The boys lost several top seniors, including goalkeeper Connor Revsbeck, defender Colten Enderson and leading scorer Tyler David. But having players graduate is nothing new. What is new is that some players, including Lakeville North’s Nickeles Kirkinni and Toby Khounviseth, are passing on high school soccer to train with the Minnesota Thunder Developmental Academy this fall. The Panthers have seen plenty of talent pass through their doors, but See soccer, 15A

Cougar girls soccer looking to improve Head coach calls it potentially best team in years

by Andy Rogers Sun Thisweek

After placing sixth in the South Suburban Conference last season, coach Dan Flood expects the Lakeville South girls soccer team to finish much higher in 2012. “This is probably the strongest team on paper we’ve had in four years,” he said. He was encouraged after the first few practices last week. “Compared to last year, really back to when (University of Minnesota player) Olivia Bagnall was a senior (in 2008 when the Cougars won the Section 1AA title), we look better at this point since when she was here,” Flood said. The Cougars are used to high expectations after making regular state tournament appearances since the school opened. Lakeville South won the state Class AA championship in 2007. The girls made state appearances in 2010 and 2008, but lost in the first round each time. The 2012 version of the Cougars want to be part of that history. “We don’t want to be that team that didn’t do well,” senior Kelly Molitor said. “We worked really hard to make this team as one. It’s almost family.” A handful of the players were on the team that won the section in 2010 and qualified for state. “We really want that feeling back again,” junior Emma Mickelson said. The team lost its top player from last year, Brianna Stelzer, to graduation, along with Hannah Brown and Lexi Bernauer.

Flood described Stelzer as a “once-in-a-blue-moon” type of player. Rachel and Emma Michelson are back, along with Mikayla Jacobson and an army of young talent, including sophomores Sarah Heintze, Sarah Beaton and Madelyne O’Reilly. Add Katie Bougie, who Flood said was like a whole new player this year, and all potential starters were either everyday players or at least got into a few games in 2011. “We’re so far ahead of where we were last year at this point,” Jacobson said. “I feel like we have a good chance to be one of the top teams in the conference.” The trouble in 2011 was scoring enough goals – Lakeville South averaged 1.9 per game. “Midfield and defense are solid, but the big difference is the forwards are going to be able to score this year,” Flood said. The biggest question on defense that allowed just 0.7 goals per game last season is selecting a goalie. “We have about four girls competing right now,” Flood said. “I feel good about them.” The season begins on Thursday, Aug. 30, with a home game against Rochester Century. The South Suburban Conference opener is Sept. 6 against Eastview. The conference appears as strong as ever with Lakeville North, last year’s conference and Section 1AA champion, returning several key players along with fellow state participants Eastview and Class AA runner-up Burnsville. “If we get some breaks

this year, I think we can get 13 or 14 wins,” Flood said.

Boys soccer Last year’s Lakeville South boys soccer team was senior-heavy, meaning several new players will be asked to step up in 2012. “So far, each player has shown an ability to learn from coaching,” coach Peter Benson said. “Once we start playing games, the concern will be whether or not the new and young players will be able to keep up with the pace of varsity play.” David Mattia (five goals, six assists last season) and Judd Goodrich (three goals, three assists) lead the team at midfield. Defenders Kees Myland (three assists) Cole Svendsen (two assists) hope to help the Cougars improve on its goal scoring average, which was 0.8 last year. Newcomers include Andrew Hill, Hector Miguel and Tommy Peterson. “Most all of our players are great at playing at least two different positions,” Benson said. “Two of our top goalies are also excellent field players. This will allow us to move players around and play each team with a unique lineup each game. This ability allows all the players to understand what’s expected of them at each position and thereby play a more freeflowing game.” Improvement is the name of the game for the Cougars, who went winless in the South Suburban Conference last year. The goals are to earn a home seed for the Section 1AA tournament and compete for the section title.

Girls tennis The Cougar tennis team is in a rebuilding season with several new faces coach John Pieri met for the first time on Monday. The girls were 4-5 in the South Suburban Conference last season, which was good enough for sixth place. Perhaps the highlight of the season was sending someone to state for the first time. Shelby Henderson and Erika Williams qualified for state in doubles and finished second in the consolation bracket. They have since graduated, but they left a sense of excitement about what’s possible heading into 2012. Morgan Pieri and Shaina Burns have returned to the tennis courts. As accomplished track and field athletes who helped Lakeville South win the state title last June, the two bring competitiveness. They have been varsity athletes since they were in eighth grade. They are joined by senior captains Kendra Kix and Kersten Schmitt, who are in their second year on the varsity team. “Our returning letterwinners are going to have to play solid tennis every match for us to compete,” John Pieri said. “We lost seven quality seniors last year. The rest of our team will be young. Time will tell with our team. “My goals for the year are to improve along the way, have lots of fun and finish in the top half of the conference.” Andy Rogers can be reached at com or

Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville August 17, 2012

Sports Briefs

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Vetter, Wolfe playing with USA Women’s team this weekend Lakeville North’s Christi Vetter and Eagan’s Megan Wolfe were among 22 players selected to play for the U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team in a three-game series with Canada over the weekend at the Schwan Su-

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per Rink at the National Sports Center in Blaine. Games are scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. Sunday. The games are free and open to the public. Eight other players on the U.S. team are from Minnesota.

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Lakeville’s Regan Smith top ranked backstroker in nation

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placed second in the 50 free and 100 fly and placed third in the 100 free. Smith is now the top ranked 50/100 backstroker in the nation, top three in the 50/100 butterfly, and top three in the 50 freestyle in her age group. Ryan Husband, swimming in the Boys 9-10 Division, finished third overall in the High Point Awards (95 points). Husband notched a first-place finish in the 50 butterfly along with second place in the 100 butterfly. Marshall Heskin, swimming in the Men’s 13-14 Division won the 50 freestyle and the 100 butterfly.

soccer, from 14A

Tyma’s goals for the team are to stay competitive throughout the regular season, qualify for state by the end and have some fun along the way. The Panthers would like to make a state trip an even-year affair after qualifying in 2008 and 2010. Last season the boys came close. North started the season 7-0-2 but lost to Northfield 1-0 in the Section 1AA semifinals. The Panthers open the season against one of the Section 1AA early favorites when Rochester Mayo comes to town on Thursday.

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Andy Rogers can be reached at com or

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The South Metro Storm sent five swimmers to Team Minnesota to compete at the USA Swimming 14-and-under Central Zone Championships Aug. 3-5 in Pleasant Prairie, Wis., to race against the top swimmers from Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Wisconsin. Swimming in the Girls 9-10 Division Regan Smith finished second overall in the High Point Awards (110 points) and broke three Central Zone Championship Records in winning the 50 butterfly, the 50 backstroke and the 100 backstroke. She also

they expect to field enough talent to remain competitive. The team’s second-leading scorer, Joey Decklever, along with Brendan Cole, Alex Amborn, Ramiro Benitez and Oscar Alvarez, stabilize the roster after playing many positive minutes in 2011. “It’s a strong core of returning members,” head coach Pete Tyma said. “We will have a new goalkeeper for the first time in a couple years, which is always a difficult transition.” They will get some reinforcement from newcomers Jorge Espinoza, Kevin Wypyszynski and Josh Meyer. “There is a real sense of team before self this year,” Tyma said.


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August 17, 2012 Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville

Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville August 17, 2012



August 17, 2012 Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville

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Phillips Pietruszewski

Brenner - Voelker

Christy Ellen Phillips, daughter of Thomas & Mary Kay Phillips of Burnsville, and Michael Lee Pietruszewski, son of Terry & Betty Pietruszewski of Strandquist, announce their engagement. Christy is a 2001 graduate of Burnsville High School and a 2005 graduate of UW-Stout. Michael is a 2000 graduate of Stephen/Argyle High School and a 2005 graduate of Bemidji State University. An August 25th wedding is planned at Mary Mother of the Church in Burnsville.

Brittney Carol Brenner, daughter of Steve and Kathy Brenner of Burnsville, and Kirk Allen Voelker, son of the late Robert Voelker and Sharon Voelker of Faribault, MN announce their engagement and upcoming wedding. Brittney is a Burnsvillle High School graduate and will be transferring to Brigham Young University in Idaho. An August 25th wedding is planned at the MN St Paul Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


DeWayne & June Scheer 40TH Anniversary DeWayne and June Scheer will be celebrating their 40th Wedding Anniversary on August 19th. They currently reside in Burnsville. They have been blessed with 3 children: Kristel (Aaron), John and Julie and 2 grandchildren; Danielle and Mali. Happy 40th Anniversary Dad and Mom! We love you and are so proud of you!

To submit an announcement Forms for birth, engagement, wedding, anniversary and obituaries announcements are available at our office and online at www. (click on “Announcements” and then “Send Announcement”). Com­pleted forms may be e-mailed to class.thisweek@ or mailed to Sun Thisweek, 15322 Galaxie Ave., Suite 219, Apple Valley, MN 55124. If you are submitting a photograph along with your announcement, please only submit photographs for which you have the right to permit Sun Thisweek to use and publish. Deadline for announcements is 4 p.m. Tuesday. A fee of $50 will be charged for the first 5 inches and $10 per inch thereafter. They will run in all editions of Sun Thisweek. Photos may be picked up at the office within 60 days or returned by mail if a self-addressed, stamped envelope is provided.


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abuse, from 1A way. “I never thought any of this would be possible,” she said. “I have a new selfconfidence, feeling complete and am free to make my own choices.” But that wasn’t always the case. After she was the victim of domestic abuse the first time, it took her several years to finally break free of the relationship with her husband because of the many obstacles she saw in the way. When the abuse started, she convinced herself it was a one-time occurrence, but it kept happening every time he was drunk and their children were out of sight. She feared what leaving her husband would do to her children – then elementary to high school aged – how she would support them financially and emotionally, and she feared leaving him might drive him to worse violence. Mary’s story is similar to that of Woynshet Woldemariam, who was shot and killed by her estranged husband outside her Apple Valley apartment building on July 14. They both left their abusive husbands, went back to school and had placed their life on a new track with many possibilities. The recent murder of Woldemariam has led to an increase in calls to 360 Communities domestic violence prevention programs, including several from women of African descent. Woldemariam, known as Winnie to her friends, was an Ethiopian immigrant and naturalized citizen who worked as a nurse. She had broken ties with her husband after the relationship turned violent and had turned her life around, including volunteer work with 360 Communities. Despite the horrific end to her life, the incident is serving as a way to help

pull other women out of abusive relationships.

Knocking down barriers The biggest challenge domestic abuse advocates often face is convincing victims that the most important thing is to end the abuse. “We have to break down the barriers,” said Ann Sheridan, director of violence prevention for Burnsville-based 360 Communities. The domestic abuse victim this newspaper interviewed, Mary (not her real name), said she went to 360’s Lewis House several times after nights when she had been beaten, hit with furniture and threatened with a weapon before she had the fortitude and evidence she needed to file for an order for protection and charges against her husband. Sheridan said victims often think of all the reasons they can’t leave rather than focusing on the positives that can result from exiting an abusive relationship. “I thought all about the 100 reasons I couldn’t leave,” Mary said. “I could never see a way out.” Sheridan said the sooner 360 Communities can be involved through its confidential services, the more it can help prevent future violence. It is estimated that one in every four women will be the victim of domestic abuse, which crosses all racial and socioeconomic categories. “It can happen to anyone, but it doesn’t have to,” she said. “I think people don’t want to believe it. There are a lot of abusive people out there.” The nonprofit is equipped to intervene and support families and victims by obtaining an order for protection, sorting out options for housing and employment, caring for children’s emotional and

Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville August 17, 2012


Help turn back the tide of domestic abuse by Tad Johnson Sun Thisweek

It is reported that one in four women will be the victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime. Burnsville-based 360 Communities’s domestic abuse services work with more than 2,500 victims annually – that’s nearly seven victims per day. Local residents can help turn back the tide of domestic abuse by reporting incidents of possible domestic abuse. Officials at 360 Communities understand that neighbors or family members are apprehensive about reporting abuse for fear of retribution or a whole host of other reasons. But they say the important message to remember that is domestic abuse needs to stop. Domestic violence is preventable and early intervention is critical, according to 360. Neighbors or family members of a person who they know or think is being abused can call 360’s confidential line at (952) 985-5300 learn how to detect domestic violence and how to respond by providing the appropriate reeducational needs, and much more. “There is a lot of reminding them that the abuse is not their fault,” said Sheridan, who said 360 Communities has contact with some 2,500 victims annually. “Once you start seeing those red flags, you should call an advocate,” Sheridan said of 360’s trained volunteers and professionals who have prevented countless cases where violence would have escalated without intervention.

sources that will reduce and eliminate the violence. In addition to allowing abuse to continue, there is a cost associated with ignoring this problem. Lost productivity and earnings due to intimate partner violence accounts for almost $1.8 billion each year, according to the American Institute on Domestic Violence. Intimate partner violence victims lose nearly 8.0 million days of paid work each year; the equivalent of more than 32,000 fulltime jobs and nearly 5.6 million days of household productivity. More information about 360’s Violence Prevention service and information on presentations is at (651) 244-9823 or online at www.360communities. org. Those who are in an abusive relationship (sexual, physical, mental or emotional) should immediately contact Eagan Lewis House at (651) 4527288 or Hastings Lewis House at (651) 437-1291. Tad Johnson can be reached at tad.johnson@ecm-inc. com or Mary called the people who work at Lewis House “angels” and said she couldn’t have ended her abusive relationship without their help. Some of the warning signs of potential abuse is a husband or boyfriend controlling certain aspects of their wife or girlfriend’s life – who they can call, who they can visit, when they can leave the house, spending decisions, what they wear, etc. See abuse, 20A

20A August 17, 20120, 2012 abuse, from 19A “Sometimes it is just a gut feeling,” Sheridan said. “If they get that feeling that they might be abused, they should make that call.” Making that first call for help was “humiliating” for Mary, who said she didn’t think anyone would understand her problem. Sheridan said overcoming fears of how to provide for children under a singleparent household is difficult to overcome. She said there are many options for closing the income gap, including child support, financial aid and scholarships for education and job placement. One of the difficulties some abuse victims face is they are not currently employed or do not have the training needed to enter the workforce. “Once we get more information we can kind of guide them in the right direction,” she said. Sheridan describes the work with immigrant populations on the issue of domestic abuse as requiring special effort. The nonprofit is working on translating many of its brochures into different languages and has interpreter services available. Aside from the language barrier, there are several cultural differences that pose challenges. Those cultural barriers include religious views, seeking help seen as a sign of weakness or overcoming traditional subservient roles. In some instances, a marriage separation or

Sun Thisweek - Farmington - Lakeville

one that ends in divorce is viewed with disdain for religious or cultural reasons. In some of these maledominated societies, women fear reporting their husband to authorities. “They don’t want to get their husband in trouble,” Sheridan said. She said there also is fear of interacting with the criminal justice system because of the language barrier. Some undocumented women fear they will be deported if the police are involved. There is a provision of the federal Violence Against Women Act that allows undocumented women who are the victims of abuse a work permit to remain in the United States. Some minority women who are victims of abuse are trapped since they are unable to communicate in English but their husbands are and are the ones communicating with police.

Repairing the damage Putting one’s life back together after breaking free from an abusive relationship doesn’t happen overnight, Sheridan said. Among the first steps is finding housing. Lewis House in Eagan and Hastings offers temporary housing for victims. While people are at Lewis House, advocates work to find them a safe and affordable place to live. They help them coordinate retrieving their belongings or going back to their home if that is the case. Food shelf services can

help them if needed. The services of 360 Communities also tends to the emotional side. Support groups meet regularly for both women and children who have been victims of abuse. Children’s Support Group for young people who have been abused is a safe place for them to talk about their experiences. Advocates work closely with children to overcome the damage inflicted by abuse whether that entails just talking to them about how it is not their fault, how they can keep themselves safe or even scheduling time with a trained psychologist. Sheridan said it takes about a year before victims can get their lives back in order. “A lot of it is just knowing they can break through it,” Sheridan said. “It takes a lot of energy out of them.” She said the best part of it is the victims are now living on their own and not dependent on someone else. Mary said the first night she spent away from her home was on the floor of a dwelling that was empty except for the bare mattress upon which she slept with her daughter. “I told her we were going to be OK now that we were gone,” she said. “It was a cool feeling to know that we were gone. … It’s a whole new world for me.” Tad Johnson can be reached at tad.johnson@ecm-inc. com or

SUN Thisweek Farmington and Lakeville  
SUN Thisweek Farmington and Lakeville  

Weekly newspaper for the cities of Farmington and Lakeville, Minnesota