NEWS | COMMUNITY

Sibley Clinic Opening | 8.11
West 7th Business Association Opens 4th Joseph's Coat Campaign | 8.11
Community Action and deZinnia, Inc. Collaborate
| 7.11
West End Tour Guide | 7.11

 
Sibley Clinic Opening [IMAGE]
United Family Medicine (UFM) opened its Sibley Clinic with expanded hours and services. In attendance were Elena Reytel and Sammy Nilva, Paster Enterprises; Lee Mauk; Russ Bursch, UFM Board Member; Gina Lotzer, UFM; Sister Mary and Sister Monica, St. Joseph of Carondelet; Melissa Parker and Tina Scheid, UFM; Nicole Wagner and Jeff Hortsmann, Paster Enterprises.

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West 7th Business Association Opens 4th Coat Campaign[IMAGE]

Step Up, Help Us, Help Out

Since 1989, Joseph’s Coat has been serving neighbors in need. The free store provides clothing, household items, personal hygiene products, and children’s items.

The West End community has responded strongly to campaigns for winter apparel and personal hygiene items. Last year’s campaign raised over 2400 hygiene items donated to Joseph’s Coat.

Once again the West 7th Business Association seeks the little things that make a huge difference: shampoo, deodorant, laundry soap (liquid or powder), foot powder and any travel size products.

The following sites will accept donations in August:
  • Cooper’s Foods (633 West Seventh)
  • Bonfe’s Auto Body (380 West Seventh)
  • BankCherokee (675 Randolph)
  • Fresh Grounds Coffee (1362 West Seventh)
  • West Seventh Pharmacy (1106 West Seventh)
  • American Bank (2310 West Seventh)
  • Fantastic Sam’s at Sibley Plaza (2473 West Seventh)
For information call Joe McKenzie, 763-438-1621.

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Capitol Region Watershed District Releases Draft[IMAGE]

Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD), along with the City of St Paul, other government and nonprofit partners, and local citizens, have completed a draft Lake Management Plan for Crosby Lake. Crosby Lake and its surrounding City parklands are an important federal, state, and local natural resource that is situated in the floodplain of the Mississippi River and is a part of the National Park Service’s Mississippi National River and Recreation Area and St. Paul’s Great River Passage master plan. While water quality in the lake is generally fair, the lake experiences tremendous impacts from its highly urbanized watershed, warranting the need to develop a guiding framework for protecting and improving the lake’s health.

A series of meetings was initiated last fall to inform the broader community and invite participation in the form of a Citizen Advisory Group. The first meeting was held in September 2010 and provided background information on Crosby Lake and the process that CRWD follows to create a Lake Management Plan. The second meeting was held in December 2010 and worked with area stakeholders, including concerned citizens, to gather input regarding the future management of Crosby Lake.

The third meeting is scheduled for August 8, 2011, at 6:30 p.m. in the CRWD office at 1410 Energy Park Drive, Suite 4 in St. Paul. This final meeting in the process will present the contents of the draft Crosby Lake Management Plan including the lake management goals and implementation activities and a summary of how stakeholder input was incorporated into the plan. The draft plan is available from CRWD’s website, capitolregionwd.org/CrosbyLakeManagementPlan.html. Comments on the plan will be accepted at the meeting or in writing until Aug 15.

For info or to RSVP email/call anna@capitolregionwd.org or 651-644-8888.

Upper Lake Dock Restored. Thanks to St. Paul Parks and Recreation for finding a way to get this work done sooner than anticipated.

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Storm Drain Stenciling with Friends of the Mississippi River [IMAGE]

FMR is organizing its storm drain stenciling projects in St. Paul for August, September and October. These service outings are educational, active, outdoors, and provide a significant community benefit.

Using paint and stencils, volunteers mark St. Paul storm drains with the message, “Please Don’t Pollute! Drains to Mississippi River (Lake or Creek)!” and distribute educational doorhangers to neighborhood homes and businesses.

This hands-on service activity is an opportunity to improve our local water resources — and an excellent fit for school, church, community, corporate, scout, service and other groups looking for a fun, educational, outdoor team-building experience with immediate results.

The outings are one-and-a-half to three hours in length, can be scheduled according to your needs, can involve anywhere from 15 to 400 people, 4th grade and up, and are entirely free with supplies provided.

For details on what volunteers do and how to set up a service outing for your group, visit fmr.org/participate/ongoing/stenciling. FMR’s program partner is the City of St. Paul Public Works Department.

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Community Action and deZinnia, Inc. Collaborate | 7.11  [IMAGE]

by Jerry Rothstein

Almost 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy identified poverty as one of his central concerns. After his death, his brother Robert worked with President Johnson to help develop the Equal Opportunity Act, signifying the start of the War on Poverty. Community Action Programs (CAP), including separate programs in Ramsey and Washington Counties, began under this initiative. Today, there are more than 1,100 Community Action programs in the United States, each with unique components determined by local need.

Programs and community needs are evaluated and revised regularly, and each local Community Action organization can develop new initiatives based on the results. The assessments, every three years, look for duplication as well as service gaps. They are expert at taking advantage of special funding opportunities from state and federal government, private foundations, and industry.
photo: Denise Stahura and Shelly Boone

Currently there are four major Community Action programs in Ramsey and Washington (CAPRW) counties: head Start and Early Head Start, Energy Assistance, Civic Engagement and Self-Sufficiency support. In order to expand its audience reach and make the organization’s message relevant to contemporary constituents, CAPRW needed to update and refresh its communications materials.
Denise Stahura, CAP’s Senior Director of Planning, took notice of some church pro bono work being completed by Michelle Boone, founder and owner of deZinnia, Inc., a creative organization (651-695-1041). Located in the historic Pilney Building on West Seventh at Randolph, deZinnia integrates design and project management to help clients reach their communication objectives. Because deZinnia, like Community Action, seeks to build collaborative relationships with its clients and is known for its ability to design materials using innovative graphics and strategies that attract positive attention, Stahura and Boone found an immediate opportunity to serve a common goal.

deZinnia was able to work with the CAPRW team on various projects, including refreshing their brand identity and creating awareness-building campaigns for each of Community Action’s programs — most recently the Food Support program. By building on ideas of warmth, energy, focus and pride, CAPRW and deZinnia were able to provide valuable information to those in need and illustrate the impact these programs have on the community.

The success of these efforts can be seen in the numbers: Last year 70,000 people were involved in the programs and services CAPRW offered, and among those people 21 different languages are spoken. Community Action of Ramsey and Washington counties is fully staffed and financially healthy with clean audits from both its accountants and its funders.

Community Action encourages people to call and discuss their issues. If any CA programs are relevant, the link is made at once. But CA collaborates with many other programs and will refer the caller to those that are appropriate. Their approach is personal and on-going. People are always asked to call again if anything is not satisfactory with a referral.

CAP’s current programs are:

Head Start and Early Head Start (651-603-5977)
Since 1965, Head Start programs have served the needs of disadvantaged infants, children and pregnant women across the country. They are designed to provide children essential learning skills before they enter kindergarten. These programs provide valuable one-on-one interaction and socialization skills. They are comprehensive child development, health and social service programs for low-income families. Since 1965, Head Start has been serving the needs of disadvantaged infants, children, and pregnant women across America.

More than 1500 children, from prenatal through age five, are enrolled in Community Action’s programs each year throughout Ramsey County. Options include full-day, half-day, therapeutic, and inclusion classrooms, and home-visiting programs. Families who meet eligibility requirements and families with children with special needs are encouraged to apply.

The prenatal to age three program, Early Head Start, offers a home-based design for families. Early Head Start Home Visitors meet regularly with parents and children to nurture child development and parenting skills. Families who qualify for childcare assistance may also choose full-day, center-based enhanced childcare for children ages six weeks to five years.

Head Start children between the ages of three and five attend center-based programming. Classes are offered in either half-day or full-day options at centers conveniently located throughout Ramsey County. Nine centers operate half-day classes, four days a week from September through late May. A full-day, full-year option is also available at two Head Start centers (Bigelow and Hubert H. Humphrey Job Corps), or through partnership contracts with community childcare facilities.

Energy Assistance (651-645-8260)
Funded by the federal government, Energy Assistance helps with bill payment, intervention and shut-off situations, advocacy for consumer rights and outreach. Community Action administers the Minnesota Energy Assistance Program (EAP), which assists participating households in maintaining affordable, continuous and safe home energy. Services include bill payment assistance, intervention in energy crisis situations, outreach to under-served populations, advocacy for and information about utility consumer rights and referrals to Community Action’s Energy Conservation department (651-482-8260) and other community agencies.

In addition, Energy Assistance supports the Reach out for Warmth program. This is an emergency fuel fund established to assist households slightly over the income guidelines for Energy Assistance, but still struggling to afford their energy bills. Reach out for Warmth also helps households after energy assistance funds have been exhausted. The program is funded by donations from corporate and private sources and is matched 2:1 by local, state and federal funds. Contact Community Action to learn more about donating, or applying if you are struggling to pay your energy bills, but are slightly over the energy assistance income guidelines.

Self-Sufficiency (651-603-5880)
Community Action’s Self-Sufficiency programs help people with low incomes work toward economic independence through education, transportation programs, asset development, and job hunting skills. They are designed to assist participants and their families with choices that can lead to self-reliance, by providing a holistic approach to the entire well-being of the family and ensuring the empowerment of each family member. Five primary services are available:
  • Project Success: support for those seeking employment.
  • Financial Literacy: learning to make sound money management decisions and participating in our matched savings program
  • Car Ownership Program: helping working families purchase cars.
  • Food Support Program: helping families and individuals obtain the food support (stamp) benefits for which they qualify: 651-603-5883.
  • You Be The Change: is Community Action’s program that helps low-income people engage in the civic arena directly by developing their leadership skills to increase community awareness and involvement.
For further information about Community Action Partnership of Ramsey and Washington Counties, call 651-645-6445 or go to caprw.org.

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West End Tour Guide | 7.11 [IMAGE]

Historic Saint Paul has published its West End Tour Guide. It is available at Landmark Center, Fort Road Federation, West 7th Community Center and other local spots. The new guide for Frogtown can be found at Landmark Center. Credit: Historic Saint Paul.

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Eagle Scout Brightens St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store | 7.11[IMAGE]

Joe Warec, son of Rich and Ann Warec, started as a Tiger Cub in first grade with Troop 83 at Holy Spirit Parish in Highland Park. This year he reached Eagle Scout.

Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in Boy Scouting. Since its introduction in 1911, more than 2 million young men have earned the rank. Requirements include an extensive Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project that the Scout plans, organizes, leads, and manages. This project offers the opportunity for a Scout to demonstrate leadership of others while performing a project for the benefit of his community
Joe chose for his Eagle Scout project to paint the front section of the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store, 461 West Seventh. He recruited volunteers to paint and donations to help cover the cost of the painting. He supervised the volunteers who cleaned and painted for a total of 75 hours. Joe delegated responsibilities and kept all the volunteers on track. The store looks bright and clean. Many customers have noticed and complimented the new paint job.

Joe will be a sophomore at Cretin-Derham Hall in September 2011. He attended the 100-year anniversary Boy Scout Jamboree in Washington DC last year.

Peter Skinner owner of Skinners Pub & Eatery donated pizzas for the workers. Julene Maruska, Manager of the Thrift Store, is thrilled with the results.

Photo: Front row: Edmundo Lijo (Teddy); second row: Edmundo Lijo, Jaime Lijo, Lydia Lijo, Jake Arndt, Sam Lijo; third row: Ed Koerner (St. Vincent de Paul Society executive director), Kevin Arndt, Rich Warec, Michael Arndt, Joe Warec, Julene Maruska (store manager). Crew members not shown: Russell Heer, Tom Heer, Jeff Acuri, John Hay, Jim Maruska and Ann Warec.

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Summer Dance Returns to Saint Paul  [IMAGE]

Summer Dance invites visitors to come dance in the streets, enjoy local music and eat local food every Thursday through August 4. This year the dance series offers weekly social dance events at Landmark Plaza with demonstrations and basic lessons from professional dance instructors. Each week highlights a different social dance style. Local bands provide music later in the night and several of the events include food available for purchase.

Dates of dances: JAugust 4 – Classic R&B/Soul

Free dance demonstrations by well-known local dance professionals from organizations including Arthur Murray Dance Studio and Cinema Ballroom begin at 6:00 p.m. and live music by a different local band every week follows at 7:15 p.m.

The events will move inside in case of rain. Rain location announcements will be posted on ordway.org every Thursday.
The Ordway is collaborating with the City of Saint Paul, Landmark Center, Pazzaluna, the Saint Paul Hotel and Wells Fargo for the Ordway Summer Dance series.

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Crosby Park Developments  [IMAGE]

After the 2011 floods, the dock at Upper Lake was once again severely damaged. Karin Misiewicz of Parks and Recreation told Community Reporter: “We have not been able to get a good look at it yet. There is still standing water and many trees down over the trails at Crosby. Staff members are going out to tour the areas hit by the flood and to evaluate them before the FEMA team arrives.

“The dock was repaired in 2010 after the flood. This year we cabled the dock to protect it from rising water. We know that the bog walk/boardwalk is in need of some repairs as well. I do not know what the time line is on that or the anticipated costs. I am not aware of any immediate plans for it at this time.”

Plans for a new parking area at the Elway entrance have firmed up. Kathleen Anglo, Landscape Architect, reported, “The schedule for the parking lot is to begin construction in September and finish in spring of 2012. The kiosk [Editor’s note: this is one of a number of informational and historical kiosks planned for the Great River Passage] will be installed concurrently with the parking lot project.” The plan for the parking lot can be viewed at stpaul.gov/index.aspx?NID=4549.

Photo: Upper Lake dock after the floods.

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