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Lewis Stein won't be touting his vast political experience while campaigning for the Minnesota House of Representatives District 57A seat. He'll be touting his lack of political experience. "There's too much bickering," he said. "The Democrats say it has to be this way and the Republicans say it has to be that way. That's not what I'm about. I get things done," said Stein, who's running as the Independence Party's candidate for the seat. Stein was born in St. Paul, grew up in Stillwater and lives in Cottage Grove.
Single moms who can't quite make ends meet, families that have one emergency too many or people who just lost a good job can all apply for help at the Friends in Need Food Shelf in St. Paul Park. "We don't turn away anyone in our service area," said Food Shelf Director Michelle Rageth. That means she must find the money to buy groceries for more than 11,000 people each year. And despite all the donations, about two weeks after a special food drive, the shelves begin to look empty again, Rageth said.
All St. Paul Park homeowners may soon be asked to help pay for upcoming street improvements. City Council members approved, 4-1, a preliminary budget and tax levy at a special meeting last Wednesday. The proposed tax levy for 2007 is $1.3 million, up from $1.1 million in 2006 -- a 14.6 percent increase. "Once we approve this levy amount for 2007, we can't raise it," said Council Member Steve Hunstad.
Every year all the businesses, individuals and organizations that help sponsor the St. Paul Park Heritage Days festival are recognized and thanked in the Bulletin, but the organizing committee -- ever in the background -- seldom hears a word of praise from the public. Last Monday, at the St. Paul Park City Council meeting, member Jeff Swenson changed that. "This is one of the most dedicated committees I've ever seen," Swenson said. "They put in many hours of work and resources." I agree.
As LL Cool J said: "Don't call it a comeback." It's not that the New Life Academy boys soccer team doesn't have it within themselves to put the ball in the net. "We've started off slow in each of our first two games," Coach Rob Rupp said. "But we haven't been giving up." The Eagles trailed St. Croix Lutheran 1-0 at the break in their season opener at the Bielenberg Sports Center Aug. 29, yet rallied with a dominant half of soccer to defeat the Crusaders 3-1. "I wish I could put my finger on it," Rupp said.
St. Paul Park residents planning to vote in the Sept. 12 state primary election may have a new polling place. In April, the City Council adopted a resolution that changed precinct boundaries and polling places to accommodate the annexation of land from Grey Cloud Island Township. By now, residents should have received notification of their precinct and polling place from the county elections board. If you did not receive a card and want to double check your polling place, call St. Paul Park City Hall at (651) 459-9785 or go online at www.co.washington.mn.us .
The Cottage Grove Athletic Association, which began with one baseball team in 1959, is now a $4.5 million nonprofit corporation that serves nearly 6,000 young area athletes. It's so big in fact, teams are beginning to run out of playing fields, said former CGAA President Al Boche Jr.
Park Grove Pet Hospital, Cottage Grove, is overrun with lost, abandoned and newborn cats ... four rooms full. The hospital also has two lost or abandoned dogs, but they're usually adopted faster than the cats, said Chrissy Marson, veterinarian technician. There are 27 cats at the pet hospital waiting for families to claim them for adoption.
Senior citizens -- and a sprinkling of younger couples -- who came to hear how much rebuilt streets will cost them next year, filled the DeForth Community Room, at St. Paul Park City Hall Aug. 23. City Engineer Jeff Roos spoke to residents from the east side of town about the 2007 proposed street rebuilding project, at the meeting. "The cost to homeowners will be $89 per front foot of property plus any repairs to water or sewer problems," Roos said. "For a 70-foot to 80-foot lot, the estimated assessment is about $7,000," Roos said.
Cottage Grove homemaker Chris Ripka loved to graze through the food offered by vendors at the Minnesota State Fair every summer. When she was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2004, however, the grazing stopped. She was told she couldn't eat anything with wheat in it, and that included a large percentage of the food sold at the fair. She spent the next year changing her eating habits, losing 30 pounds and growing frustrated about all the "can't eat" items surrounding her -- especially at the fair. As a result, Ripka created her own list of gluten-free foods sold by vendors at the fair.