NEWS | COMMUNITY

As the World Turns...
Crosby Park Improvements Moving Ahead
Volunteers Welcomed at Cerenity Senior Care – Humboldt

Traveling Exhibit Explores Violent and Divisive Period in Our History
Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation Tutoring Program
Nova Mock Trial Team Invited to World Championship Invitational
Nearly $1.5 million awarded to Community Neighborhood Housing Services
New Multilingual Materials for Domestic Abuse Awareness Month
Aging Well Expo Offers a Wealth of Resources
West 7th Homemaking Program Celebrates Five Years



[IMAGE](left) The Garcia-Castaneda family proudly shows off their new Sony e-reader won in the drawing at W7th library this September. Estefany’s name was drawn from dozens who entered the Summer Reading Program, and she plans to share her new electronic reader with her mother Lucero and sisters, Monica and Melissa, and baby brother Manuel. Lisa Hage, manager at W7th, presented the e-reader to them.
Photo by Sara Schmitt.















As the World Turns...

It’s getting darker…so get prepared (and we mean more than carrying a flashlight). Make those plans that have you feeling light and righteous. Be sure to include:
  • Exercise! How about an October 13 “Library Love” 3K run at Hamline Midway Library?
  • Halloween! Costumes and party ideas (at your library, of course).
  • Aging Well Expo, October 23 at West 7th Community Center — those who aren’t aging need not attend.
  • The Intergenerational Program at the West 7th Community Center meets monthly connecting school-age kids and adults over 50.
  • Even the weightiest tomes are light if the price is right! Central Library’s Fabulous Fall Book Sale, October 12 & 13 has your favorite book cheap — we’re sure.
  • Join the new W7th Book Club. You can contact the W7th library 651-298-5516 for information.
  • Bring voting into the light. At the sppl.org website, type “voting” in the long white space and select the “search site” button. Then you can read up on the issues and candidates, find voting precincts and know what to bring with you on Election Day.
  • Teens, get LIGHTER debts with TEEN READ DOWN in October. Read away money owed to the library. Whew! Just ask any library employee.
  • Finish your homework ahead of time? Impossible? But libraries have Homework Help with online tutors and library agencies with homework centers to realize your dearest homework desires.
  • Before I forget, all St. Paul public libraries will be closed October 8.
See you soon, the Volunteers and Sara and Lisa at the W7th Library

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Crosby Park Improvements Moving Ahead

St. Paul Parks and Recreation is using Capital Improvement Budget funds to make major changes at the west entrance to Crosby Farm Regional Park (for full details and maps see ci.stpaul.mn.us/index.aspx?nid=4871).

The project includes long-needed expansion of the parking lot and repaving of roads, adding an extension of walking/biking trails and increasing the planting of the natural prairie ecosystem to a larger area. The work is in progress and should be completed in October.

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West 7th Homemaking Program Celebrates Five Years [IMAGE]

by Jerry Rothstein

A dinner celebration took place in September to mark the fifth anniversary of the West 7th Homemaker Program, which seamlessly took over the service from Sisters Care. The latter was a service of The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet that operated for 20 years. They at one time served all of St. Paul, but in 2007 they decided to close because they were having trouble recruiting new Sisters. The West 7th Community Center (W7CC) decided that this resource was too good to lose, and hired eight of the Sisters to become part of a new Homemaker Program, serving West Seventh, West Side, Macalister-Groveland, Highland Park, Summit University and Hamline Midway.

Of the original eight Sisters, there are six remaining. One new Sister and two lay staff have been hired. The client load was 42 at the start and five years later it is around 72. Over the years a total of 200 people have used the service. Today, the program continues to receive high ratings from its clients. As a key component in W7CC’s Senior Services, it helps people to meet their goal of living in their own home with the support they need.

photo: Florence Larson loves her garden.

Florence Larson’s story helps us to understand the range of needs the program addresses. She and her family moved into their home on Randolph in 1949. Florence’s husband was a bus driver. Her son and daughter went to Monroe and both became teachers — her son also coached hockey and became a principal before retirement. He and his wife now play an important support role for Florence (her daughter lives in Massachusetts).

When Florence turned 90, she and her children started to discuss options. There were aspects of being in her home that she could no longer manage comfortably, especially the heavier cleaning and laundry, and some shopping. They explored several assisted living facilities and also arranged a meeting with Hallie Goetzke, the Senior program coordinator. With Hallie, they reviewed safety needs (extra handrails were added to the stairway), household work (a homemaker was assigned to do the heavy cleaning on a regular schedule), and other aspects of Florence’s interests.

For example, transportation was arranged for two days a week to the Community Center for exercise classes and the Lunch Bunch outings. Shopping and some gardening help are given by her son and daughter-in-law, and this year her daughter was able to plant the garden during a visit. Florence cares for it with help, too, from her next-door neighbors, who are also always there if she needs a ride for doctor appointments and the like. Overall, Florence and her family are very happy and feel very secure with these resources organized and in place.

Florence is a great reader, sometimes finishing a book a day. “I love cooking too much to want to stop,” she says, but I know there’s Meals On Wheels if I need it.” In all, Florence feels she has “enough going on” to be balanced and fulfilled.

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Healthy West 7th Progress Report [IMAGE]

by Lynda Anderson

The Healthy West 7th team has had a busy summer and continues to work toward its goal of improving the health and wellness of St. Paul’s West End. We now have our own webpage and Facebook page. You can visit our website at healthywest7th.wordpress.com/ and learn more about the project, how you can be involved, and to find the link to like us on Facebook.

Other summer projects have included the development of the Sholom Community Garden. It has proven to be a challenging gardening site, but the intrepid gardeners have done a lot of work and the gardens are looking beautiful. There are still spaces available for next year — visit the Healthy West 7th website for information. Many of the open plots are currently being used as community plots and the vegetables grown there are being donated to area food shelves.

[IMAGE]New and Current Projects
Our current projects include the development of a Local Food Resource Hub and of a database of nutrition, fitness and other healthy lifestyle activities. If you know of something great going on in the neighborhood, please let us know at healthyw7@gmail.com. We are looking for low-cost opportunities for people of all ages to include in our resource list.

We are looking for people interested in participating in the development of a Local Food Resource Hub. The Local Food Resource Hubs Network is a project of Gardening Matters and supports residents to grow their own fresh produce, helping to ensure greater food security and healthy food access. Currently there are five hubs, four in Minneapolis and one in the Midway area of St. Paul.

Local Food Hubs offer members access to low cost vegetable seeds and transplants in the spring, as well as opportunities to learn more about gardening and food preservation from other Hubs members. Hubs are developed based on the needs and wishes of each community and are community-driven. We are looking for interested people to be a part of the leadership team. We are also looking for community input regarding the development of a hub. See gardeningmatters.org/hubs for details. Please take online survey at surveymonkey.com/s/KWKPJB7 if interested.

Community Partners
The Sholom Community has a fitness center that is open to community members at a low monthly cost. A rehabilitation center is open to United Hospital and Clinic patients. Check out their monthly calendar for fitness classes. You can learn more from contacting Sholom’s Community Liaison, Jeff Sherman, at jsherman@sholom.com or at 952-939-1566.

We’d like to thank our partners for their on-going support of the Healthy West 7th initiative. Their support has been a big reason this community volunteer driven project has been able to move forward and accomplish so much this summer. Thank you to United Family Medicine, Allina Foundation, West 7th Community Center, Sholom Communities, Mississippi Market, and the University of Minnesota’s Extension Service.
[IMAGE]2012 Healthy West 7th Initiative Harvest Party
On Oct. 4, 5-7 p.m. all are invited to join the Healthy West 7th community at the West 7th Community Center, 265 Oneida St., to celebrate the bounty of our gardens, the gardeners’ efforts and the coming together of our community. Book signing and presentation by Atina Diffley, author of Turn Here Sweet Corn. Music, food provided. Info: healthyw7@gmail.com.

The Community Center gardens are providing carrots and tomatoes for Meals On Wheels recipients.

Sholom Homes is a great space to develop. (top) Community garden on jefferson is thriving.

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Volunteers Welcomed at Cerenity Senior Care – Humboldt

Do you enjoy the outdoors and taking walks? If so, please consider volunteering once a week or once a month to take a senior on a walk around our 15-acre, park-like campus. There are many other volunteer opportunities at Cerenity Senior Care – Humboldt, such as one-on-one visits, performing, making crafts or playing games with seniors. Staff will help match your skills, interests and schedule. Located at 512 and 514 Humboldt on the West Side of St. Paul, Cerenity Humboldt provides assisted living, memory care, transitional care and skilled nursing care. Volunteer groups and all ages are welcome. There are great opportunities for parents and children to volunteer together as well. To learn more about our volunteer program, please call 651-220-1789 or e-mail HumboldtVolunteer@bhshealth.org.

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Aging Well Expo Offers a Wealth of Resources

The annual Aging Well Expo is an event geared toward people who are 55 and better. Featured exhibitors from the metro area will offer information on health, wellness, resources and aging well. The expo offers free hearing, balance, blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar screenings. For those looking for Medicare, veterans’ benefits, legal or pension rights information, counselors will be available. Flu and pneumonia shots are also available (bring your insurance card). Hours are from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the gym at the West 7th Community Center, 265 Oneida St. For more information, call the Center 651-298-5493 or visit the website, west7th.org.

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Traveling Exhibit Explores Violent and Divisive Period in Our History — Ramsey County Historical Society hosts Commemorating Controversy: The Dakota - U.S. War of 1862, Oct 2-30.

In the late summer of 1862 a war raged across southern Minnesota between Dakota warriors, U.S. military, and immigrant settlers. In the end, hundreds were dead, and thousands more would lose their homes forever. The day after Christmas, 1862, thirty-eight Dakota men were hanged in Mankato by order of Abraham Lincoln. It remains the largest mass execution in United States history. The bloodshed of 1862 and its aftermath left deep wounds that have yet to heal. For all of us, what happened 150 years ago continues to matter today.

Gustavus Adolphus College students produced this exhibit in conjunction with the Nicollet County Historical Society. Twelve panels explore the causes, voices, events, and long-lasting consequences of the war.

Ramsey County Historical Society’s Exhibit Gallery is located at the north end of the first floor of the Landmark Center, located at 75 West Fifth St. in St. Paul. The exhibit is free and open to the public when the building is open, Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Thursday 10am – 9pm, and Saturday and Sunday noon-5pm. For additional information contact Mollie Spillman, Ramsey County Historical Society Curator and Archivist at 651-222-0701 ext. 7 or mollie@rchs.com.

The project was funded by Gustavus Adolphus College, Nicollet County Historical Society, Minnesota Humanities Center, Minnesota Historical Society, and the people of Minnesota through a grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

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Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation Tutoring Program

The Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation is recruiting volunteers who can offer a minimum of one hour a week to help a student succeed academically. Half of the students in St. Paul are not proficient in reading or math and need help to succeed. You can help by becoming a volunteer tutor at one of the Foundation’s many partner schools and community organizations throughout the city, including the West 7th Community Center and after school at Linwood/Monroe through the ACES program (Athletes Committed to Educating Students).

If you have never tutored before, do not worry! Orientation, training, and continuing support is provided at all sites. Free additional trainings are offered through the Foundation. Consider making a difference in a student’s life today. For more information, contact Maggie Jacoby, Maggie.jacoby@sppsfoundation.org, 651-325-4205 or visit our website at sppsfoundation.org.

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Nova Mock Trial Team Invited to World Championship Invitational

The Nova Classical Academy Mock Trial team has been invited to compete in the prestigious World Championship Mock Trial Invitational tournament in New York City in late October.

The Empire Invitational is considered the most prestigious high school mock trial competition, selecting only 36 teams from across the country and around the globe to compete. Empire’s letter of invitation to Nova notes that the Selection Committee “turned away a record number of incredibly accomplished teams” to get to those 36 bids.

The 2012 Empire Invitational includes teams from Australia, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. Nova Classical Academy is the first Mock Trial team from Minnesota to be chosen to participate. Teams are invited to apply only if they have finished at or near the top of their state or country Mock Trial tournament and are selected based on an extensive application process that takes into account the team’s competitive history, sportsmanship, ethics, traditions, and motivation.

The Nova Mock Trial team’s competitive history is notable. In just two academic years of Mock Trial competition, approximately half of the school’s high school students were involved in Mock Trial as four active teams. In March, one of Nova’s Mock Trial teams placed second in the Minnesota State Bar Association High School State Mock Trial Tournament, 2012, losing by a slim margin to Breck School, the two-time defending state champion.

Team members are preparing a new case for the competition and are learning the college mock trial rules used in the Empire City Invitational. Participating team members are Peter Jones, Sam Wegner, Chase Adelsman, Sami Burr, Jake Henke, Liza Michaeli, Linda Stack-Nelson, and Elena Tran. Laura Bova, Nova’s Forensics Coordinator, coaches the team.

Prior to the commencement of formal competition, Nova will scrimmage for a day against the mock trial team from Mackie Academy, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Mackie is Scotland’s four-time champion and a finalist at The Bar National Mock Trial Competition, an event that brings together the best mock trial teams from Scotland, Wales, England, and Northern Ireland, for final rounds of competition at Old Bailey in London. “They’re coming a long way to play,” says Nova Team Captain Peter Jones. “The fact that they’ve been using U.K. law and Scots law and now must work within the U.S. system in order to compete makes them especially interesting to my team. We can’t wait to meet them.”

Nova Mock Trial students and their families are working to raise funds necessary to travel to New York City for the tournament. Tax-deductible donations can be made to Nova Classical Academy Mock Trial program at novaclassical.org/empiremocktrial. For more information, contact Dr. Susan Whalen, Director of Forensics, at swhalen@novaclassical.org.

-- Jerry Rothstein

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Jewish Community Center Grant Program

The St. Paul Jewish Community Center is lead agency in partnership with the Wilder Foundation, Minnesota Alzheimer’s Association, the University of Minnesota’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, and University researcher Dr. Joe Gaugler, administering a two-year Minnesota Department of Human Services grant to work with people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. “Living Well: A Holistic Program for People with Early Memory Loss” will offer a weekly support group for 12 weeks, exploring art and music, exercise, learning and volunteering opportunities with access to other JCC programs and resources. The first 12-week series starts October 4. Registration is handled by Wilder — call Sue Ryan at 651-280-2290 for details.

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Nearly $1.5 million awarded to Community Neighborhood Housing Services

Local homeownership center Community Neighborhood Housing Services (CNHS) has received the maximum possible grant from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI.) The funds will be used primarily as lending capital to help Twin Cities homeowners make repairs and necessary improvements. As a nonprofit homeownership center, CNHS makes funds available often at rates well below the market.

“We are thrilled to have received this grant and bring these funds to the Twin Cities to support sustainable homeownership,” said Jason Peterson, Executive Director of CNHS. “With this additional support for our organization we will be able to serve an estimated 70 households through home improvement lending, down payment assistance, and rehab loans to improve our housing and stabilize neighborhoods.”

Nationwide, 210 awards were made, for a total of more than $175 million. The grant application process was intensive and competitive, and CNHS was one of just eight organizations in Minnesota to receive funds.

Homeowners interested in applying for home improvement or repair loans should begin by calling Community Neighborhood Housing Services at 651-292-8710.

Specializing in foreclosure prevention, home improvement loans, and new homeowner education, CNHS serves the seven-county metro area with special program emphasis in the city of St. Paul. More information is available at www.communitynhs.org.

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New Multilingual Materials for Domestic Abuse Awareness Month

Vital information and resources about domestic abuse available in five languages

Approximately 1.3 million women are physically assaulted by an intimate partner each year in Minnesota, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Women who are refugees and immigrants are vulnerable to becoming part of this statistic and at high risk of isolation from help. Language and cultural barriers, pre- and post-migration trauma, separation from support networks, and limited knowledge of the U.S. legal system and available services prevent women from seeking safety.

To provide information and access to help for community members being affected by domestic abuse, ECHO (Emergency, Community, Health, and Outreach) has collaborated with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, Mardag Foundation, and the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.

ECHO is providing 20-30 minute multilingual programs, Domestic Abuse and Your Safety, in which experts identify different types and tendencies of domestic abuse. They affirm that abuse varies in form and can come from and affect anyone. Those who experience abuse are not at fault or alone, and have access to protective services.

The program will broadcast in basic English, Spanish, Hmong, Somali, and Lao on TPT’s Minnesota Channel (Comcast Channel 202 or 243, depending upon location), public access television stations across Minnesota, and at echominnesota.org. The program will also be available with English captions for the deaf and hard of hearing. ECHO will be distributing 500 DVDs free of charge to the community and service provider organizations across the state.

For the tptMN broadcast schedule and general information see echominnesota.org.

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Church Bulletin
A feature that lists special church events for the month. Call 651-665-0068 or e-mail items to editor@communityreporter.org.

Divine Design: Bible Study for Spiritual Makeover. Women's Bible study meets the first Saturday of every month: 8:30 a.m. Fellowship; 9-10 a.m. Bible Study. There is a one-time requested donation of $7. St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 530 Victoria St. S. Reservations at 651-228-1482.

St. Peter's Crafters meet monthly to work on their favorite craft projects. There is lots of table space available. For information regarding meeting dates and times contact St. Peter's at 651-228-1482 or churchlady0312@comcast.net.

W 7th United Women's Prayer: Interdenominational, Scripture-based prayer (Moms in Touch model) for children and schools. Weekly Tuesdays 6:15-7:30 p.m. at St. Peter's Lutheran Church, Fireside Room, 530 Victoria St S. For information call Kim at 763-670-9886 or e-mail kdolan1006@comcast.net.

Humble Walk Lutheran Church: Worship on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. at Acme Academy of Arts, 941 West Seventh. Information at humblewalkchurch.org.

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Gardening Matters Supports Local Growth [IMAGE]

Twin Cities residents and community organizations are eligible to join local food resource hubs, which support the growth of healthy, sustainable local food.

Local food resource hubs are neighborhood-based support networks designed to get Twin Cities residents and community gardeners the tools and education they need to grow, preserve, cook and compost their own fresh produce by offering supplies, classes and connections. Hubs benefit communities by connecting neighbors and have been established in four Minneapolis areas: north Minneapolis, south Minneapolis, Phillips and Ventura Village, and northeast and southeast Minneapolis, and in the Midway in St. Paul. The project is an initiative of the City of Minneapolis, community partners and Gardening Matters.

Residents can join a Local Food Resource Hub and select one of four types of membership. Prices vary. Memberships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To reserve a membership spot, residents can contact Gardening Matters at 612-821-2358, download the membership form (in English, Spanish, Hmong or Somali), or sign up online at gardeningmatters.org/hubs.

Members can pick up packets of seeds and seedlings at their hub’s distribution event this spring. Seeds and plants will be distributed May 19. More information about distribution events will be sent to members and be available at gardeningmatters.org.

Last year the Local Food Resource Hubs Network served more than 600 members, distributed more than 14,000 packets of seeds and 15,000 seedlings, and expanded residents’ food growing skill sets through classes and training. The Local Food Resource Hubs Network is made possible by funding from the Minneapolis Department of Health and Family Support and the Minnesota Department of Health’s Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

For more information contact Nadja Berneche, Gardening Matters,
612-821-2358 or nadja@gardeningmatters.org.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Cerenity Senior Care — Humboldt has many rewarding volunteer jobs, including one-on-one visits, helping with activities such as baking or crafts, or performing music. Volunteers help make Cerenity Senior Care–Humboldt feel like home. Please consider volunteering once a week, once a month or on occasion. Staff will help match your skills, interests and schedule. Located on the West Side of St. Paul, the Cerenity Residence at 514 Humboldt provides assisted living, memory care and transitional care, and the Cerenity Care Center at 512 Humboldt provides skilled nursing care. To discuss these possibilities call 651-220-1725 or e-mail HumboldtVolunteer@bhshealth.org.

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