Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
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St. Paul Park City Council member Jennifer Cheesman wants to explore relaxing the city's animal restrictions to allow more people to keep chickens on their property. At a workshop last week, the council discussed the keeping of chickens and honey bees on residential property. Residents are allowed to have four chickens if the coop, or accessory building, is 300 feet from neighbors' homes.
South Washington County School buildings are in line for improvements following approval of an annual facilities budget. The District 833 School Board on Jan.
If Martin Luther King Jr. could have been in the room, he would have seen that a part of his "I have a dream" speech has come true. He dreamed of a day when children of all races could be together. At Newport Elementary School last week, students in Heather Trok's second-grade classroom hosted students from Ann Madden's fifth-grade class to work on an art project together. When the younger students pair up with the older ones, they're blind to racial differences. They only see their school buddies. The buddy project has a long history at the school, according to Trok.
Sunday afternoon had everything anyone needed for outdoor fun. The temperature was reasonable, the sliding hill at the St. Paul Park City Hall had packed, icy snow and new snow was coming down to make the hill even faster for the city's annual sledding party. The hot cocoa and cookies served up in the fire department, along with tours of the fire hall, were added treats.
When cable television stations hit the January doldrums, they resort to "Top 10" programming. Shows include the top 10, or top 100, snack foods, places to visit or inventions. I started to make my own list of top 10 inventions but I ended up with a list of inventions that didn't make the list. Some inventions only appeal to a limited audience. For example, consider those "How It's Made" television shows. During bowl games, if you don't want to watch "Puppy Cam" on Animal Planet, you watch "How It's Made," which doesn't make my top invention list but is probably on husband Gary's list.
Park High School's performance of "Antigone" on Wednesday was ranked first by all three judges in the Section 3AA One-Act Play contest, according to Steve Estenson who directs the Park show with Denise Atkinson. East Ridge High School placed second. The two teams are scheduled to compete with Bloomington-Kennedy and Eagan high schools on Wednesday, Jan. 30, at Park, with the highest-ranked play going on to state competition. There were the usual jitters that come with a first performance before an audience, Estenson said.
South Washington County Schools will take over Crosswinds school in Woodbury unless state lawmakers provide extra funding by April 1 to assist the Perpich Center for the Arts in acquiring the school. The East Metro Integration District School Board met last Wednesday, Jan. 23, to make final decisions about the future of its two schools -- Crosswinds, which houses grades 6-10, and Harambee, for kindergarten through fifth grade.
Her friends, and those she graduated with from Park High School in 2005, will be glad to know that Jaime Anderson hasn't lost her friendly smile during an intense recovery from a stroke she suffered in August. Anderson, daughter of Bruce and Ann Anderson, still has a quirky sense of humor. She no longer needs a wheelchair. As soon as she could walk even a little, her physical therapists wouldn't let her use it because they wanted her to walk. She used a cane for a few days but they took that away, too.
Park High School nearly won the 3AA Section One-Act Play final last year with the emotional performance "Holocaust." Directors Steve Estenson and Denise Atkinson hope this year's play will tip the scales in favor of Park's drama department. In a touch of irony, "Antigone," this year's entry, was the first play "A and E," as the students call their directors, directed together. "Antigone" was adapted to the required 35-minute length by Estenson, with Atkinson specializing in costuming and set design.
There's nothing like curling up on a cold winter's night in front of the fire. Reading an audit report while basking in the firelight is the best kind of reading material I can think of, but most of you would prefer a good book. The School District 833 audit report is usually presented to the School Board at the end of the year and covers the previous fiscal year, which runs from June 30 to July 1. Ever since I learned how to evaluate an audit from now-retired St.