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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 .
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.
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.
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.
St. Paul Park residents from west side neighborhoods met Wednesday night to learn how much new street construction and sewer and water repairs will cost them next spring when construction is slated to begin. Many were not happy to learn they had assessment bills up to $8,000 waiting for them. A second meeting will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23, at St. Paul Park City Hall, for those residents on the east side of St. Paul Park where street rehabilitation is expected to begin in the spring.
A Cottage Grove photographer, who is mostly interested in recording parts of the Midwest before it vanishes forever, recently took a break and went to the fair. "I thought I'd experiment with time-lapse pictures of the carnival rides," said Kent Johnson, a transplanted Iowan. He took the photos with a 4- to 6-second exposures, so you can almost feel the speed of the Orbiter and the frenetic movement of The Spider. Even the Ferris wheel seems exciting. Johnson, a local groundskeeper by day, has been taking pictures for 30 years, but "only seriously for the past 10 years," he said.
St. Paul Park Council members who don't want homeowners to pay big bills for street reconstruction are searching for new ways to finance the upcoming street project planned in 2007. The council approved creation of a finance subcommittee to look at funding issues in an attempt to change the city's assessment policy.
During Tami Pehrson-Clark's years as an apartment dweller, her sons got so tired of hauling two truckloads of her flowers every time she moved that they urged her to buy a house. Pehrson-Clark gave in a year ago, moving into a St. Paul Park home, and she's wasted no time in using her yard. And while flower gardens may be soothing and lovely, Pehrson-Clark said she's learned that vegetable gardens are more fun.
If you have been running the Grey Cloud Island 10K River Run every year during Heritage Days festivities, be prepared for some new sights along the way this month. The race is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, at Aggregate Industries' Larson Quarry, 10120 Grey Cloud Island Drive, St. Paul Park. Registration begins at 7 a.m. "We've had to change the course slightly this year," said Patty Christensen, race coordinator.