Dayton's Bluff District Forum               Articles            December 2001

Dayton's Bluff Police Storefront Opens
Officer Matt Webb sitting at his desk at the Dayton's Bluff Community Council with City Council member Kathy Lantry.  Photo by Karin DuPaul. 
   The Dayton’s Bluff Police Storefront is in the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council offices at 798 East 7th Street. 
   Officer Matt Webb is assigned to the storefront.  Officer Webb has been a police officer for 5 years, 3 years in Kansas City and the last 2 years here in Saint Paul.  Officer Webb plans to be in the office from 2 to 3 p.m. on the days that he is working.  Stop by and welcome him to Dayton’s Bluff. 

From Rail Yard to Nature Sanctuary
St. Paul City Council adopts community plan 
for major new park Annual Election and Meeting

   A community-driven plan to create the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary — a major new park on the Mississippi River floodplain — achieved new support from the City Council.  A summary of the plan, developed by East Side and Lowertown neighborhoods, was adopted by the city along with a summary of the Trout Brook Greenway plan, which covers an adjacent land area. 
   “Our communities are working hard to create the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary and establish an exciting natural link between the East Side and historic Lowertown,” said Kristin Dawkins, Chair of the project’s Steering Committee.  “The park called for in our plan will be one of the largest in the Twin Cities urban core and an incredible asset for St. Paul.”
   Nestled at the foot of tall sandstone bluffs just below Mounds Boulevard, the site includes caves, natural springs and remnants of the area’s fascinating industrial past.  Plans call for the park to include native plantings, historic interpretation, a wildlife pond, and a trail hub that will connect several regional trails into an 85-mile network.
   In addition to creating new recreational trail opportunities, the proposed park will connect two city districts that are in the midst of revitalization efforts.  The East Side is being rediscovered as a wealth of historic resources including its housing stock, commercial areas, and Swede Hollow Park, a beautiful, forested ravine that was once a settlement area for new immigrants.  Lowertown’s thriving urban village offers jobs, housing, a lively arts district, popular restaurants, and Mississippi River access. 
   “Experience tells us that amenities attract investment,” said Weiming Lu, President of the Lowertown Redevelopment Corporation.  “With its significant size and beautiful combination of water, green space, and natural history, the nature sanctuary we’ve planned will be a wonderful resource that will contribute to the revitalization of both the East Side and Lowertown’s next urban village.”
   A wide range of partners agree on the value of protecting urban riverfront land.  The Trust for Public Land is leading negotiations to acquire property for public ownership and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Metro Greenways Program will soon be presenting community leaders with a recognition award. 
   “We consider the project a model for community involvement in natural resources protection,” said Al Singer, director of the Metro Greenways Program, which chose the project as one of its first recipients for land protection funding.  “Its focus on the inner city also makes it stand out.” 
   St. Paul City Council member Kathy Lantry refers to the teamwork-based effort as an “innovative and successful public/private partnership that will result in an exciting new city park.”
   The project’s community-driven approach to urban watershed revitalization is already generating national attention.  The Rocky Mountain Institute recently featured an article on the ecological aspects of the initiative, and community representatives have been asked to present the project at a Harvard University conference in November.
   “The project will improve the Mississippi River and enhance the livability of local communities,” said Rip Rapson, President of the McKnight Foundation. “We’re very pleased to see this grass-roots initiative generate such significant results.”
   Community members cite the long-term support of the McKnight Foundation and key partners at all levels of government as central to the project’s progress.  The project also benefits from broad support from a range of environmental, community, and economic development organizations. 
    “Our efforts are powered by more than 25 partner organizations and we want to extend our thanks to everyone who has helped us reach this exciting juncture,” said East Side resident Carol Carey.  “With the city’s adoption of our plan summary we are one step closer to creating this nature sanctuary that will benefit both our environment and our communities.”
   Work on the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary is part of the Lower Phalen Creek Project, a multi-faceted urban watershed restoration initiative focused on St. Paul’s Lowertown community and the Dayton’s Bluff, Railroad Island and Payne/Phalen neighborhoods of St. Paul’s East Side. 

Lower Phalen Creek Receives Award
Metro Greenway gave one of its first awards to the Lower Phalen Creek Project for its efforts to turn the old Phalen Creek bed into a nature park. Photo by Greg Cosimini
   One of Metro Greenways first awards went to the Lower Phalen Creek Project, which is working to turn the area between Swede Hollow Park and the Mississippi River along the old Phalen Creek bed into a nature park.  The awards were in recognition of outstanding efforts on behalf of natural resource preservation for current and future generations.  Other awards went to a Blaine Comprehensive Natural Resource Plan, Cedar Creek Greenway in Anoka County, and the Vermillion River Corridor Assessment in Dakota County. 
   The Lower Phalen Project is a grass roots effort that has been working for over six years to make this vision become a reality.  The award will be on display at different East Side locations over the next few months.  It is presently in the offices of the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council at 798 East 7th Street.

Mounds Theater Renovation Begins

   By the time you read this, the renovation of the Mounds Theater at 1029 Hudson Road should be underway.  It was scheduled to start in late November. (Editor's Note: The actual starting date was  December 26.)
   The first noticeable change in the building will be the removal of the chimney.  That will be followed by the demolition of the small building in the rear of the theater that housed the old air conditioning system.
Snoopy and Woodstock, dressed for the season, have moved to the Community Council office at 798 E. 7th St. while the Mounds Theater is undergoing renovation. Photo by Greg Cosimini
   A new roof will be installed as soon as the chimney is gone.  Other external tasks include some work on the side and rear walls and the installation of new rooftop heating and cooling units.
   The majority of the remaining work will be inside the theater.  The biggest task will be the demolition and removal of the ceiling.  The renovated theater will have an open ceiling. Smaller demolition jobs include removal of the old steam heating system, some walls in the lobby and parts of the cement floor to make way for new plumbing.  The theater will get new, expanded bathrooms as well as a small kitchen.
   Less noticeable, but very important will be the installation of a new electrical system.  Most of the building will be rewired and provisions will be made for future upgrades such as stage lighting, movie projectors, audio systems and a theater organ as more educational and entertainment facilities are added to the theater. 
   The remainder of the renovation will involve finishing the interior of the theater.  This includes new stud walls, insulation, sheetrock, painting, trim work, and the repair and leveling of part of the auditorium’s concrete floor.
  At the conclusion of this phase of the renovation the Mounds Theater will be a fully functional community center.  Future phases will concentrate on the front exterior of the theater, the expansion of the stage, new seating and other interior refinements.
   The general contractor for the project is Bob Raddatz of Raddatz and Sons Construction.  The architects are Cornel Bandelin and Matt Dean of Dean Architects. Funding comes from a variety of sources, including a $200,000 matching grant from the Saint Paul STAR program and grants from the Saint Paul, Bigelow, Mardag, Marbrook, 3M and, the Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundations.  George Hardenbergh, who owned the building for over 30 years, donated the theater to the Portage for Youth.
   Unfortunately the start of the renovation resulted in the temporary eviction of the theater’s only resident.  Thespian Snoopy, who has lived in the window at the theater for the past year, had to be moved out of harm’s way before work began.  He is now residing in a window at the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council office at 798 E. 7th St.  Go and visit him and see what else is going on at the Community Council office.

An Interview with Dayton’s Bluff School Principal Von Sheppard
by Mai Yia Vang and Gao Yee Thao

Editor’s Note: Mai Yia and Gao Yee, both 11, are students at Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School.  They recently interviewed their new principal, Von Sheppard, for the Dayton’s Bluff District Forum. Both questions and answers have been paraphrased where necessary. 

Q. What did you do before becoming principal here?
A. I was assistant principal at Johnson High School.
Q. How is an elementary school different from your last job at Johnson High School?
A. The students were bigger at Johnson and there were many more of them, about 1500.
Q. How do you like Dayton’s Bluff Elementary School?
A. I love it.
Q. What do you think of the students?
A. The students are great.
Q. What do you think of the neighborhood?
A. The neighborhood is very diverse and contains a lot of nice people.
Q. Do you have anything to say to the students?
A. The first two months have been good.  There has been a lot of support from the school council.  It’s been a great start. I hope they continue to be good students and help to get their parents involved in the school. 
Q. Do you plan to have any special activities for students, parents or the neighborhood?
A. We’ve already had a barbeque and several assemblies. I’d also like to have some after school activities at the rec. center.
Q. Would you like to write a column for the Forum?
A. Sure.

Here is Principal’s Sheppard’s first letter to the neighborhood:

Dear Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood,
   We are enjoying the completion of two months into the new school year at Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School, and I can honestly say things are running quite smoothly. 
   I wanted to thank all of the people who have been instrumental in the success at Dayton’s Bluff, but there are just too many to name. The whole village (parents, students teachers, administration, district and community) deserves recognition. The only way we will continue to be successful is to keep you, the families here in this neighborhood. 
   I believe stability increases ones ability to learn. Parents, community and school, we all need to work together and have the best interest of these kids. The nature of our job demands unity. And the nature of that job requires a team effort. We are honor-bound to work together with mutual respect, despite our personal differences. 
   Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary is a good school, and in time will be a model School of Excellence. We need to have high expectations for our kids, school and the community. The days of settling for less and being average are over. We have much higher expectations than that. Let us heal the wounds of the past as quickly as possible and get down to the business of educating our students. Until the next time.

Von Sheppard, Principal
Dayton’s Bluff Achievement Plus Elementary School

Hmong Join Bethlehem Family

    On Reformation Sunday, November 4, 2001, Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 655 Forest Street, St. Paul, welcomed 51 new members by adult and child baptisms, confirmations and transfers.  The Rev. Kou Seying has been leading the group in study and fellowship each Tuesday evening for over a year with the support of the Bethlehem congregation.  Pastor Bob Krueger and about twenty lay people from Bethlehem have served as hosts for the weekly dinners and teachers for youth classes.  In May, Bethlehem agreed to offer a Sunday worship hour at 11:00 a.m. for Pastor Kou to lead the Hmong language service that averages over sixty worshipers each week.
Bethlehem Lutheran Church welcomed new members in the sacristy of the church. 
Photo Courtesy of Pastor Bob Krueger.
   God continues to bless the efforts in East St. Paul as Pastor Kou will begin another adult membership class on Sunday mornings this month. Anglo and Hmong children attend Sunday School together and welcome visitors to join them at 10:15 a.m. each Sunday.
   Bethlehem’s community is becoming an area with a growing population of Hmong homeowners.  The core leadership for the new Hmong members will be significant for outreach to the non-Christian Hmong families that surround the church.

Bluffing with Science
Ghost Bluffers, Part 3
by Greg Cosimini 

   For the last two months we have been discussing scientific ghost hunting.  This month we are going to see how to actually find, or at least attempt to find, some ghosts using the equipment described last month. If you want to win a Nobel Prize or the $1 million dollar prize James Randi is offering for proof of the paranormal, you need solid evidence, not hearsay, anecdotes and random pieces of questionable data.  Otherwise you have nothing of scientific value and all you’ll get is two minutes of fame on a local news show around Halloween.
      So you are now armed to the teeth with a bunch of high tech toys and ready to go find yourself a ghost or two. What do you do?  Do you just set up the equipment, wait ten minutes and out pops a ghost. It can’t be that easy, can it? Unfortunately, no. Here is where we separate the men from the boys, the women from the girls, and the scientific ghost hunters from the people who think they see ghosts everywhere.
   First of all, where do you look? If you’ve been mean and miserly during the past year, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future might be paying you a visit very soon. In that case just set up in your bedroom.   If they don’t show up as expected you might as well go some place where someone thinks a ghost has been observed.  You won’t have to go far.  They seem to be literally coming out of the woodwork nowadays.  Ask around.
   Second, make sure you know how to use all your gadgets.  If you don’t, stay home, get out the manuals and start reading. Even if you know how to use them, make sure they actually work and work properly.  Are the batteries fresh? Do you have spares? Do you have film, tape, and plenty of other supplies?  If not, head for the store and get them.
   Third, study and record everything about your chosen area and the space all around it. No detail is too small. Take pictures, make sketches, write notes, interview people, and study its history. You don’t know what might be important so find out as much as you can. Make sure there are people you can contact if you need more information at a later date and arrange for a possible follow up visit.
   Finally, you are ready to set up your equipment in a professional manner. Don’t wander around the place, waving your gadgets, snapping photos and making random measurements.  Set things up so everything is observing the same spot.  Aim all the cameras, sound recorders, temperature measuring devices, radio frequency detectors, and any other equipment so they are all making measurements at the same location.  If you have extra equipment, set some of it up at the perimeter to catch anything entering or leaving the area.
   But what if the ghost is in another room or downstairs or hiding in a corner? Won’t you miss it?  Could be. So next time set up somewhere else.  You didn’t think this was going to be done in a couple of hours, did you? 
   Keep track of the time so you can synchronize all measurements later.  If you have a psychic with you, make sure he or she is recording any ghostly observations and also noting the time. Don’t communicate with each other any more than necessary.  The more independent the measurements are, the better. Don’t observe too long or you’ll get bored and sloppy.  30 to 60 minutes is probably more than enough time.
   That ends the fun part of the work. You’ve got all your data and now it must be taken home and analyzed. This is a very painstaking and time-consuming operation. I only have space to give you a few tips on how to proceed. 
   Cameras usually produce the most interesting information.  After all, pictures never lie. Yeah, right. Even assuming no one has doctored the photos or video, interpreting an image taken with a camera isn’t always an easy task.  For example, suppose you see an orb, a streak or a dark image lurking in the background. Could these all be ghosts? If so, anyone who has ever taken a bad photo may have detected a ghost. Can you be sure there wasn’t any stray light hitting the lens, that the room wasn’t too dark for the camera being used, that it isn’t a double exposure, or most embarrassing, that a finger or camera strap wasn’t in front of the lens?  Did any other camera record anything strange at the same time? You must be able to answer these and many other questions before you start yelling,  “Ghost”.
   Now let's listen to the audio you recorded.  Can you hear any sound that you can’t easily account for?  Can you be sure? What other noise-producing people or things were in the vicinity.
   Did you get a sudden temperature change or did the wind chimes start tinkling?  Was it a ghost or does the place need insulation?
   Did your EMF meter, spectrum analyzer or modified radio indicate a signal?  If so, are you sure no one used a cell phone in the vicinity or that a CB radio wasn’t turned on within a several block radius?
   Did lights flicker or an appliance act up during the observation period? What could have caused that? Do you call a ghost buster or an electrician?
   Did any of your ghostly observations occur simultaneously?  If so, this lends a lot of credibility to the measurements.  If you had a psychic with you, did he or she detect anything? 
   On the other hand, what if you got nothing: no photos of ghosts, no tape recordings of strange sounds, no temperature changes and even your psychic came up empty?  Does that mean you’ve proven that ghosts don’t exist?  Not at all. You’ve only proven that either there weren’t any ghosts where you were looking or your equipment couldn’t detect them.  The search must go on.
   As you can see, this is a big job.  We’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to proving the existence or nonexistence of ghosts.  Happy hunting.
   Here are a few websites to visit. The James Randi Educational Foundation:; the Skeptical Inquirer magazine:; the Nobel Prize archives:
Bluffing with Science will appear at random times in the Forum.  It will attempt to relate topics in science and engineering to life in Dayton’s Bluff. That is the goal, not a guarantee.  Please send questions, comments or suggestions for future columns to the Dayton’s Bluff District Forum, Attention: Greg Cosimini, 798 E. 7th. St., St. Paul, MN 55106 or email me at

Local Project Goes to Harvard 

   The Lower Phalen Creek Project was invited to participate in Harvard University Design Program’s “Brown Fields and Gray Waters” conference in the poster display in November.  The Lower Phalen Project was one of 10 projects from all over the world in the poster displays.  Each group had two 6’ x 8’ display areas.  The theme of the display was the daylighting of Phalen Creek in Swede Hollow Park and the Lower Phalen Creek Project, which will make the area between Swede Hollow and the Mississippi River into a park like Swede Hollow Park.
Karin DuPaul displays one of the posters she took to Harvard University for the Harvard University Design Program’s “Brown Fields and Gray Waters” Conference. 
Photo by Greg Cosimini
   Lower Phalen Creek staffers Amy Middleton and Sarah Clark put together the materials for the conference.  Steering Committee members Chris Baeumler and Karin DuPaul attended the conference, and set up and presented the displays.  They were on hand to explain the project and answer questions from others attending the conference.  People looking at the displays were impressed by the projects because of the design, success and grassroots involvement.
   The conference started with Julie Bargmann, University of Virginia, who gave a lecture on the environmental and cultural dilemma, how to deal public health, historic and cultural value, and multiple history of a site.  In the past the only time the cultural value was evaluated was when American Indians were involved.  The industrial history was covered or hauled off.  The historic resources of the industrial site can be interwoven into the new development. Julie shared a number of her students’ projects.
   Mill Creek Neighborhood Project in Philadelphia. Geologist, Ann Spirn looked at the path of buried Mill Creek and the location of vacant lots and substandard housing.  For 15 years Ann was mapping the creek path and substandard housing conditions and discussed this with the city departments.  Finally the city sewer department agreed with her findings.  During those years she worked with the community putting community gardens on the vacant lot and worked with children from the nearby school on environmental projects.
   Sudbury in Canada has been working to clean up the pollution from the world’s tallest smokestack.  “Super Stack” was completed in 1972 and spread pollutants over a vast area. Emissions have now been reduced by nearly 90%.  In recent years Sudbury has reforested the hillsides planting more than 6 million trees.
   Other projects were from London, Tel Avie, Boston, New York, and many other places.  Bringing art, history and science into remendation projects was a theme of the conference.

Letters to the Editor
Native Prairie is a Natural for Mounds Park

Dear Editor, 
   Recently I received a survey seeking my opinion: do I or do I not enjoy the Native Prairie Grass plantings in Mounds Park? This topic is so close to my heart that I wanted to take the opportunity to answer the survey in a public forum. YES, I do enjoy the native planting. In fact, I would enjoy seeing more public park space restored to its original Minnesota wild flowers and grasses. Here are three reasons why:
1. Biodiversity and Wildlife Habitat. 
   We city humans can buy our imported foods from the grocery store. Our homes contain materials from all over the world but our urban wildlife neighbors must find 100% of their food and shelter in our neighborhoods. Too much green turf and our wildlife cannot find sufficient resources to survive and thrive. Besides us humans, here are a few examples of our wild neighbors who must have biodiversity to survive: bumblebees, butterflies, birds, bats and bunnies. All of these creatures are remarkably beneficial to us in some way, and that’s only one letter of the alphabet.
2. A Healthier Environment.
   Green turf is a high maintenance ground cover. For example, it must be cut regularly. The mega- mowers we use burn gas, spew toxic exhaust and create very high noise levels. Natural planting and landscaping is low maintenance. After all, native plants are ideally suited for our climate. And let’s remember, it needs far less water and no pesticides whatsoever to remain healthy! Our embattled environment is already very stressed. I believe responsible citizens must encourage every possible restorative action, especially a relatively simple action such as encouraging native plant growth.
3. Beauty!
   Minnesotans seem to have a great fondness for the rich colors, smells and textures of nature. I’m very fond of the changing seasons. Since the Mounds Park planting sprouted 2 years ago, I’ve watched the flowers move through spring, summer, fall and winter. Yes, I also enjoy the brown stalks of fall and winter. I’m reminded that we are all part of the same cycle of life. I know that the dying plants carry the seeds of new life. By comparison, acres of green turf seem dull and monotonous. And oh, how we all need beauty and vitality and diversity in these troubled times! So I say again: YES! Let those native areas prosper! Please voice YOUR opinion. You can email the Mounds Park Association at or this paper.
Julia Archer
Mounds Park

The House that Disappeared
A fable by Greg Cosimini

   Once upon a time there was a saintly city by a great river.  It was ruled by wise folks who worked in the Great Hall in the Downpart area of town.  High above the river was the Eastpart of the city.  Eastparters were mostly hard working people who lived in moderately nice houses. But there never seemed to be enough houses for all the people who wanted to live on the Eastpart or in other town parts for that matter.
   This was strange because there were many empty houses that no one lived in.  The Eastparters knew they were empty because the rulers from Downpart would post a Proclamation of Vacancy on each and every empty house. Then the house would just sit there, often for many years. It would slowly fall apart, as an empty house tends to do.  This saddened the Eastparters because an empty house is not a happy house and it also attracted the dreaded Blight of Urban. 
   One day in early October two Eastparters were coming home from work, for Eastparters must toil by day to support themselves, their families, and the rulers in Downpart.  As they passed the location of an empty house one of them said, “Look, I no longer see a Proclamation of Vacancy on that house.”  The other, being slightly quicker on the uptake said, “That is because the house is no longer there. It has disappeared.”  Upon closer examination, the first Eastparter had to agree.  On the road to Hudson, near the street of Cypress, next to the building of laundry, the vacant house definitely no longer stood.
   This brought great amounts of consternation to the local Eastparters.  They were divided as to what had occurred. Some of them thought demons had taken the house. Others thought that someone from Downpart had removed it. But this was almost as difficult to believe as demons.
   “Would not our wise rulers from the Great Hall in Downpart have told us, or at least told our local Council of Community, if they were going to perform such a dastardly deed?” they asked each other.  This was indeed a puzzlement. 
  So some of the braver Eastparters decided to inquire at the Great Hall as to what really happened.  They were told that verily, Downpart had torn down the house. 
   “But why did you not tell us?” they asked.
   “Because you did not ask us,“ they were told. 
   “Besides, the information you seek was available to all who would search for it, here in the Great Hall in the Downpart of the city, within the Labyrinth of Bureaucracy.”
    Hearing this made the Eastparters shudder for they had heard about people who had entered the Labyrinth of Bureaucracy.  Only the rich and powerful were said to survive it.  Others either abandoned their quest or were lost forever.  It was said their spirits still walked the halls of the Great Hall, endlessly trying to find the Information at the end of the Maze.
    The Eastparters knew not how to proceed.  They began talking amongst themselves and one of their number said, “There are many other homes on the Eastpart marked with the Proclamation of Vacancy.  These too will be destroyed by people from Downpart, or possibly demons, if we do not act.  Why could we not buy these houses and fix them up all by ourselves?” 
   This seemed reasonable so they once again contacted the people in the Great Hall.  But once again they were told they would have to conquer the Labyrinth of Bureaucracy for answers to their simple-minded questions. Worse yet, they would also have to do battle with many creatures along the way including Tax Commissars of the County, Banker Folk, Enforcers of the Code, Realtors of the Estate and possibly even the dreaded Lord of the Absentee Land.
    The Eastparters scurried back to their own neighborhood for they were easily scared at the mere contemplation of such beings.
    They thought all hope was lost.  Houses would keep disappearing and there was nothing they could do about it. Then a person new to the Eastpart spoke up.  He said he knew what they must do.
   “We must learn the ways of the Great Hall in Downpart so we too can find our way through the Labyrinth of Bureaucracy. We will be like those from the Lands of High and Mac-Grove, in the Westpart of the city.”
   “Is this possible? For we be but simple folk without large amounts of gold.”
   “We must make up for our lack of gold with great quantities of brain power, pure hearts and the courage of lions.”
   “But there is no wizard to give us such things.  We must find them in ourselves and this would take much effort. Is this possible? Please remember, we be but simple folk.”
   “We be only as simple as we think ourselves to be. Do not let the demons of the Complex of Inferiority and Doubt of Self hold us back.” 
   “But we would have to get off our massive bottomsides to learn and do new things.  This would cause us to miss some of the flickering images in the magic tube and spend less time at the local pubs.  This indeed would be difficult.  Is there no other way?”
   “I know of a different way,” cried another of the group.  “Are not the rulers in the Great Hall duly elected by we ourselves? Do we not pay their wages with the sweat of our brow? Are they not sworn to help us all, the simple and the meek as well as the rich and powerful? We will elect new rulers who will help us find our way through the Labyrinth of Bureaucracy.”
   But another said, “Have we not elected many different rulers over the years?  Yet nothing ever changes.”
   “Then we will elect better rulers next time.”
   The stranger asked simply,  “How many of you voted in the last election of rulers.”
   Sadly, almost two-thirds of the group hung their heads in shame.
   “No matter.  It is up to us to help ourselves.  We cannot rely on the rulers in the Great Hall in Downpart. We can do more than keep houses from disappearing.  We can cause spaces to turn green. We can bring art and culture to the Eastpart so we need not journey far and wide for entertainment.  We can create superior schools so our children will grow up to be less simple than we be.  But it will take much toil and tribulation.  What say ye?”
   The Eastparters looked at each other with wonder.  They could do all of this, they thought. They could get off their massive bottomsides and become a force to be reckoned with.  Then one of their number said, “Gadzooks, this is ‘Must See Magic Tube’ night.  We are going to miss our favorite flickering images.”
   And they all rushed home, never to be seen again. Except at the local pubs.

The End.
Any similarity between this fable and real life is purely intentional

Bluff Memories And Musings
by Steve Trimble 

A Hundred Years Ago on the Bluff as reported in the St. Paul Globe
   December 1901: Mrs. Charles Weinhagen of Bates Avenue had an “entertainment” for  “little folks” for her son Fred’s ninth birthday. Guests included members of quite a few prominent neighborhood families such as Gustavo Seeger, of the refrigerator company family, Paul Bremer, of the brewery and bank family and a little lad with the unfortunate name of Albert Schmuck.
   The Ladies Aid Society of the Bates Avenue M.E. Church will be having a turkey supper and Christmas sale at Iron Hall, East Third and Bates. “There will be handkerchiefs from every state in the nation.” I somehow doubt that would be a big draw these days, but maybe handkerchief collecting was a fad at the time.
   Two events in December point out that at the time it was fairly common to have weddings in homes instead of a church. Miss H. Weimar and Oscar Erickson were married at the bride’s house on Euclid. They will be living nearby at 989 Euclid. Miss Agnes Wright married J. J. Dunlop one Wednesday evening in the home of Rev. and Mrs. George Parker of Maria Avenue.  They will live at 1054 McLean.
   Mrs. Larpenteur of Eichenwald Street entertained the Ladies Afternoon Club on a Thursday. The guests included women that were among the area’s elite: Mrs. Deebach, Mrs. William Brink and Mrs. E. O. Zimmerman. Prizes were awarded to some of the members.
   Eichenwald Street, where the Ladies Club met, deserves a little extra attention. This one-block long street that runs between Sixth and Seventh got its name from the presence of an old mansion named “Eichenwald,” that was owned by the Keller family. Eichenwald, which means “oak woods” was Bluff pioneer John Keller’s family home back in Germany.
   But the connection I want to point out here is that “Eichenwald” was the boyhood home of Herbert Keller, who later entered politics and was elected mayor of St. Paul in 1910. That’s right—in spite of what the reporters have been saying, Randy Kelly was not the very first East Sider to head up the city. Keller Lake and Keller Golf Course are named after him. Actually, there was another East Side mayor in the mid-1800s, but let’s save that story for a later day.
60 years ago in our community as reported in the Dayton’s Bluff Booster
  When I did my research this month I was surprised, not by what I found, but by what I couldn’t find. As you know, Pearl Harbor was bombed on December 7, 1941, but there is no mention of the event or of war efforts in the local newspaper. They may have felt that people were getting plenty of information on World War Two in other places. 
   The only reference I could find to the military was the following humorous comment in the December 25th issue:   “We hear Freddy King went to the recruiting office to join the Army and that they wouldn’t take him because they were short of tents.” 
   Instead, the Booster was filled with the usual type of local events, including an array of holiday parties and church services, penny bingo at the Bluff playgrounds, and what was playing at the area movie theaters. The St. John’s Rosary Society was holding its annual Christmas party in the guild room of the school at 5th and Forest. The C.Y.C. singers would be singing Christmas carols.
   One of the biggest stories that month was the news that The Harding High School PTA was sponsoring a fundraiser starring the Sunset Valley Barn Dance. According to the organizers, “it will be complete with all of the much loved HILL-BILLY songs, accordion and guitar players and all the entertainment that is so popular with America today.” 
   The December 25th front page centered on the story of the Christmas tree by editor Bernie LaBeau, scores of “bowling on the bluff”, mention of a bridal shower, and the results of the recent duck-hunting season. 
   As usual, the last issue of the month listed Bluff births. Some of them include the boys brought home by Mr. and Mrs. William Ludke, 859 E. 3rd, Mr. and Mrs. William Malone, 612 Reaney, and Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Whalen, 1305 E. 4th. 
   There were girls for Mr. and Mrs. James Miller, 248 Bates, Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Holland, 1508 Burns and Mr. and Mrs. Earl R. Bland of 895 Clarence. Once again—do any readers know the whereabouts of these 60 year olds?
   The Christmas issue of the Dayton’s Bluff Booster had four full pages of advertisements from area merchants giving holiday greetings. A glance at them is a reminder of how sixty years ago you really could buy everything you needed in the neighborhood. Let’s see which of our readers can provide the locations of some of the following establishments that had ads in that issue:
   Roxy Cafe; Johnnie’s Rec; O’Donnell’s; Dayton Rec; Farmers and Merchant’s Bank; Otto Drugs; Six Corners Hardware; Caruso’s Tavern; Bob Welch’s Bar; Pete Memmer Food Market; Sally’s Salon; Nelson Tire and Battery Company; East Seventh Paint Store; Nelson Hardware; Concord Laundry and Fag’s Sandwich Shop.
   We want to get some letters! What Bluff business (not listed above) that took out a Christmas ad in 1941 is still in business today at the same location? 
Send or call your answer to:
The Dayton's Bluff District Forum 
798 East 7th Street 
Saint Paul MN  55106
Phone: 651-772-2075 

Mounds Park Meeting

   The Mounds Park Association will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, December 11th at 200 Earl Street (Marian of Saint Paul). Agenda items will include discussion of the results of neighborhood survey 2, the Metropolitan Council’s Blueprint 2030 River Corridor planning process, the Planning Commission’s planned evaluation of the District Council system, and the Charter Commission’s redistricting of the City Council Wards necessitated by the data gathered during Census 2000. More information is available on the Web at:

The Winter Solstice

Dear Amber,
    I have been reading your column now for about three months and really enjoy it.  You have been talking about many of the major holidays and the traditions surrounding these holidays and how they got started.  Can you tell me what the Winter Solstice is?  Thanks and keep up the good work.

Dear Palilly,
    Hey, that’s a pretty good question.  Let’s see what I can do with this one.
    The Winter Solstice marks the time of year when the light returns as the sun shifts and starts to move northward again.  In Europe, the tradition of the Yule log is celebrated on Winter Solstice.  A special log is brought in and placed on the hearth where it glows for the twelve nights of the holiday season.  After that, it is kept in the house all year to protect the home and its inhabitants from illness and any adverse conditions.  The Yule log is the counterpart of the midsummer bonfires, which are held outdoors on Summer Solstice to celebrate the shortest night of the year. 
   It is also customary to place mistletoe around the fire, which is the plant that grew on the oak tree, sacred to the Druids, the priests of the old Celts.  Among other uses, mistletoe is thought to help women conceive. 
   The Christmas tree also dates from old European or pagan rituals.  It was the time to celebrate the renewal of the earth and greens were used as the symbol.  Branches of pine, cedar and juniper are commonly used, bringing wonderful fragrance into the home.  Red candles are used to symbolize the fire and heat of the returning sun as the days begin to lengthen.
    Now, how about taking a little quiz, to see how much YOU know about the Winter Solstice?  No fair peeking at the answers.  Each question is worth 20 points. Here we go.
1.  Many of the traditions associated with Christmas actually come from the pagan worship of the Winter Solstice.  Which of the following festivals involved the custom of giving presents?
—Sigillaria, the Roman holiday after Saturnalia.
—Dies NatalisInvicti Solis, The Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.
—Festivus de Libertas, The Festival of the Liberated Sun.
2.  In Norse mythology, Balder, the god of the summer sun, was killed by an arrow made of a now popular Christmas Leaf.  Which one was it?
—Pine needle
3.  Do you know that many of the ancient ruins we visit were built to celebrate solstices?  Which of the following temples honors the Winter Solstice?
—Stonehenge in England
—Chichen-Itza in Mexico
—Newgrange in Ireland
4.  The Scandinavian barbarians held a festival called Jiuleis to celebrate the solstice.  Can you guess what popular custom came from this feast?
—The Julienne method of preparing meat.
—Serving eggnog, a Scandinavian beverage.
—Burning of the Yule Log.
5.  The Romans honored the Winter Solstice with a festival called Saturnalia. During this celebration:
—Slaves ate with their masters
—The practice of giving present under the trees began.
—Animals were sacrificed to appease Saturn, the god of light.
Correct Answers - Remember to give yourself 20 points of those questions that you answered correctly.  There are a total of 100 points.
  1. Correct Answer is - Sigillaria, the Roman Holiday after Saturnalia.  To celebrate Sigillaria, the Romans would give their children gifts of earthenware (sigillaria), rings and seals.  Often times, their homes would be decorated with green plants.
  2. Correct Answer is - Mistletoe.  Loki, the god of evil, made an
arrow out of mistletoe and gave it to Hoder, the god of winter.  It was he who killed Balder.  Frigga, Balder’s mother restored him and cried tears of joy that turned into berries on the mistletoe branch. She was so happy she kissed everyone who passed under the tree.
  3. Correct Answer is - Newgrange in Ireland.  Newgrange was erected to celebrate the Winter Solstice.  At 10 a.m. (when the sun is the brightest) the sun shines through a passageway and illuminates an engraving on the wall called the Triple Spiral, drawn to celebrate the arrival of the sun.
  4. Correct Answer is - The burning of the Yule log.  It is believed that the term Yule comes from this festival.  The Norsemen would burn a log to repel the cold and darkness and the wood was thought to bring good luck to each household.  Their King Hakon thought the festival should coincide with the Christian winter holiday.
  5. Correct Answer is - Slaves ate with their masters. - Saturnalia was quite the party!  Servants would feast with their masters, and a Mock King would be elected to preside over the festival.  During this time, all schools would close, no prisoners would be executed and people would parade about the streets dressed in masks or blackface.

Your Total Score__________
I hope you had fun with the Winter Solstice quiz ,Palilly.

To Everyone - Have a Very Merry Christmas and the Happiest of New Years.
Keep those questions coming. 


If you have a question that you would like answered, please write me at: 

Dayton’s Bluff District Forum 
Attn. Ask Amber 
798 East 7th Street 
Saint Paul, MN 55106 
Or e-mail your question to:
All answers given herein are solely the opinion of the writer and not the Dayton's Bluff District Forum nor the writers or advertisers or the people and businesses included in the column.  Amber's answers will be researched in depth and are accurate as opinion, but not neccessarily fact.

Cooking in the Bluff 
    by Shiela Johnstone 

Rosemary Roasted Turkey
   This recipe makes your turkey moist and full of flavor. It can also be used for Cornish game hens, chicken breasts or roasting chicken.
3/4-cup olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
 salt to taste
12 pounds whole turkey
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
2) In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, basil, Italian seasoning, black pepper and salt. Set aside.
3) Wash the turkey inside and out; pat dry. Remove any large fat deposits. Loosen the skin from the breast. This is done by slowly working your fingers between the breast and the skin. Work it loose to the end of the drumstick, being careful not to tear the skin.
4) Using your hand, spread a generous amount of the rosemary mixture under the breast skin and down the thigh and leg. Rub the remainder of the rosemary mixture over the outside of the breast. Use toothpicks to seal skin over any exposed breast meat.
5) Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Add about 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Roast in the preheated oven 3 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the bird reaches 180 degrees F (80 degrees C).
Nutrition at a glance
Calories  850
Protein  93g
Total Fat  50g
Sodium  296mg
Cholesterol  309mg
Carbohydrates  0g
 Fiber  0g

Turkey Tip 
Store Leftovers Safely:  Cut the turkey off the bones within 2 hours of cooking it. Refrigerate the stuffing and the turkey separately in shallow containers. Use leftover turkey and stuffing within 4 days. 

Maple Glazed Sweet Potatoes
2 1/2 sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons flaked coconut (optional)
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1) Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan with water to cover them. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer 25 to 30 minutes until tender.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Use non-aerosol non-stick spray to grease an 8x8 inch baking pan.
3) When the sweet potatoes are cool, peel and cut them into large chunks. Arrange them in the prepared dish.
4) In a small saucepan, melt butter, syrup, sugar and coconut together over a low heat. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Sprinkle mixture over sweet potatoes. Top mixture with pecans.
5) Bake 5 to 7 minutes, until top is lightly browned.
Nutrition at a glance
Calories  211
Protein  2g
Fat  11g
Sodium   69mg
Cholesterol   16mg
Carbohydrates   28g
Fiber   2g

     If you have comments, suggestions, a special recipe that you would like to share, or you are looking for a special recipe, feel free to contact me through the Dayton’s Bluff Forum. 

Write to: 
Shiela Johnstone 
Dayton's Bluff District Forum 
P.O. Box 600511 
St. Paul, MN 55106 

Or call: 651-772-2075 (Dayton's Bluff Community Council Office) 

Till next time, bon appetite. 

Business on the Bluff
by Shaun Murphy

   Wells Fargo Branch closes.    Friday, December 14th will be the last day of operation for the Dayton’s Bluff branch of the Wells Fargo Bank.  The move is touted by city and bank officials as a positive development for the East Side.  A new branch will open at Rose and Prosperity, just south of Lake Phalen, with more office space, a larger drive-thru area, and of course, a modern look.  A purchase agreement for the 7th and Minnehaha site has been arranged, although the public is not privy to information about who is the buyer.  An extension of the 3M campus anyone?
   Recently, I spoke with Judy, the manager of the branch.  She said, “the facility [at 7th and Minnehaha] is old and broken.”  She also gave me a brief history of the bank.  The building was first opened in 1950 (according to a newspaper article at the time, with air conditioning!) under the name of Northwestern State Bank, a successor to the old neighborhood bank at 3rd and Maria.  The 3rd Street facility was opened in 1916, and it originally operated under the name of Mounds Park State Bank.
   The closing leaves our neighborhood without a bank.  Is this a positive development for an area with 8,000 households to be without a financial institution?  I have begun to wonder if local customers without vehicles will feel that an 18-block walk and/or bus ride to Rose and Prosperity is too big an inconvenience.  More on Wells Fargo later in the column.
   One business experiences loss of customers following September 11th.  According to Maria Nguyen, who owns Lily of the Valley Vietnamese Restaurant, business was very slow following the terrorist attacks on September 11th, and it has been slow to recover, particularly in the evenings.
   My sister just informed me that Hormel has given its employees pay raises due to a sharp increase in sales, presumably because of a consumer shift toward eating at home since the 11th.  This trend seems to be reflected in Maria’s slower business.
   If you or your family chooses to go out to eat in the near future, please remember that it is harder for a small business to absorb a drastic decline in sales, compared to a corporate-run restaurant.  Just like many of us, Maria has a family that relies on her support, and she would especially appreciate your patronage at this time.
   Read more about Maria and her restaurant at  A special thank you goes out to Maria for donating a $10 gift certificate to our popular Where’s Lyman? contest, especially in this time of slow business.
   Locally-owned businesses support the local economy.  Periodically, I hear the argument made that locally-owned businesses have higher consumer costs and lower return rates (when applicable) than chain stores.  But do they? 
   Recently, I have noticed that Wells Fargo offers its customers a savings account interest rate of 0.5%.  Meanwhile, my credit union (City & County Credit Union) which is locally owned, pays 2.0%.  A larger trend of higher fees and lower interest rates in multi-state banks is documented by the Federal Reserve Bank.  See this web site, for more examples of how multi-state banks take a bigger bite.
   Undoubtedly though, there are examples where costs at locally owned business are higher.  However, in those instances stop to consider the support that a hometown business gives to the local economy. 
   A locally owned business is likely to need an accountant, an advertising agency, a carpenter, and an insurance company.  If those services are available locally, a main street business will probably use them.  In the meantime, a corporate chain is likely to patronize businesses in other states, oblivious to the local economy. 
   This of course, is not to mention to exorbitant salaries of distant CEO’s.  Wells Fargo’s CEO, Dick Kovacevich, grossed $7.08 million last year.  On the average, each Wells Fargo branch pitched in $1,213 to support this man and his family.  I’m not sure about you, but I would say that $1,213 is best spent in the Dayton’s Bluff economy, not in the suburban hills of San Francisco.
   The Gardenhouse on Maryland enters its 2nd year of business.  Looking for a place to do your holiday gift shopping?  Look no further than the Gardenhouse on Maryland, which is run by local resident Charlie Golden-Black.  Charlie and her mother, Eunice, opened the business in October of last year.  Since then, they have put in 10-hour days, every day of the week, to keep their business running.
   The Gardenhouse is a gift shop and garden center that stays open throughout the year.  Customers can warm up to the wood stove in a side room in their newly remodeled building, amidst a library of 200+ books.  They offer a wide array of merchandise, including home furnishings,  houseplants, candles, gourmet foods, incense, stationery, books, and body products. 
   Of course, this is not to mention a full line of garden products—with everything from sod to seeds.  Popular holiday items in stock include poinsettias, Christmas cactuses, gift bulbs, and begonias.
   Charlie tells me that the most common line they hear from new customers has been, “We didn’t even know you were here!”  Well, if you are reading this, no more excuses.  The store is open from 10:00 until 6:30, Mondays through Saturdays, and is located at 905 Maryland, just west of the intersection of Forest Street.  Their phone number is 774-5744.
   Happy holidays to all! 

Shaun Murphy sells advertising for the Dayton’s Bluff District Forum.  Business on the Bluff will appear whenever space is available and time permits.

A Holiday Wish for All Our Friends in the 
Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood
by Raeann Ruth, Executive Director The Portage for Youth
A few of the Portage for Youth girls visit with a jolly old elf. Photo Courtesy of Raeann Ruth
May your holidays be filled with happiness and
health, good cheer and the precious warmth of family together.
And wonderfully, amidst the giving of presents and gifts, may
each of you receive these blessings too...

Happiness.  Deep down within. 
Serenity. With each sunrise.
Success.  In each facet of your life.
Close and caring friends.
And love.  That never ends.

Special memories.  Of all the yesterdays.
Bright todays.  With much to be thankful for.
A path.  That leads to beautiful tomorrows...
all through the coming year.

Hopes and dreams.  That do their best to come true.
And appreciate.  All the wonderful things about you!

a special thank you from the staff and young women at 
the Portage for Youth.  It is through your giving that we 
can continue to offer after-school and summer programming
to all of the young women in the Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood. 
At the Portage,  “Girls Rule in All The Best Ways”.

Raeann Ruth, Executive Director, The Portage for Youth and the Mounds Theater Renovation Project.
    For more information on the Portage, please go to our website at or give us a call at 651-772-8674.

Expect a Miracle!
by Amy Handford/Cummings

   VISIONARIES DO TRULY LIVE AND WALK AMONG US and nowhere is this more evident than witnessing the evolution of a project that is underway in our neighborhood!
   The Mounds Theatre building on Hudson Road is being transformed from a storage facility to a miraculous gift to our community.
   The Director of the Portage for Youth, Raeann Ruth and other dedicated people, had the vision to turn the old theatre into what is to be the “East Metro Cultural Community Center housed in the historic Mounds Theatre.”
   This excerpt from a Sanskrit Proverb truly describes these people and this project: 
“For yesterday is but a dream,
And tomorrow is truly a vision,
But today, well lived,
Makes every yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well, therefore, to this day.”
   Information about this gargantuan project with its many facets, may be viewed at the website of the Portage for Youth or you may contact: The Portage for Youth , 965 Fremont Avenue, Saint Paul, MN  55106.  (651) 772-8674 phone or (651) 772-4669 fax

Meet with Police

   The Eastern District Police host a monthly meeting with community members to listen to and address people’s concerns about crime and other issues on the East Side. 
   The community meetings are held at the Eastern District police office at 722 Payne on the corner of  Payne and Minnehaha Avenues.
   Please join your neighbors and the police at either meeting. The next meetings are on Thursday, December 20th at 6:30 pm and on Friday, December 21th at 9:30 am.

A Capital City New Year

   Family friendly and alcohol free, the Firstar Capital New Year celebration draws families, singles, couples, and children of all ages. The events will take place in both indoor and outdoor locations throughout downtown Saint Paul. 
   Landmark Center will feature a variety of exciting dance performances, such as ballroom dancing. There will also be enticing music and room to dance for the general public. 
   The schedule begins at 4:00 pm on New Year’s Eve. At midnight, enjoy fireworks at Rice Park! Buttons for general admission will be sold for $8 at local retail outlets starting Dec. 1, and onsite for $10. Children five and under are free. For more info. call: 952/920-9054.

Recycling in Dayton's Bluff

    Recycling bins and lawn signs are available at 798 East 7th Street.  If you have a neighbor who does not recycle, talk to them about it. Recycling can reduce your trash by at least 40%. We are working to increase recycling in Dayton’s Bluff.  The December recycling dates are Tuesday December 4 and 18.  If you have any questions call 772-2075.

Dayton’s Bluff Bookmobile Stops

   Mondays December 3, 17, and 31 at Dayton’s Bluff Playground at Conway and Maple from 2:30 to 3:30 pm; at Mounds Park Meithodist Church at Euclid and Earl from 3:45 to 4:45 pm; and Margaret Playground at Margaret and Frank from 5:00 to 6:30 pm.
   Wednesdays December 12 and 26 at First Lutheran Church at 463 Maria from 9:30 to 10:00 am.  For more information call 651-642-0379.

There’s No Place Like Home 
by Sheila Bonin, 
Eden Alternative Project Coordinator for HealthEast Senior Care. 

   Celebrating Halloween in Mounds Park is a very special and much anticipated tradition. HealthEast Senior Care-Marian of Saint Paul has found a way to bring together young ghosts and goblins as well as neighborhood teens, families who are establishing their own traditions and the elderly in a very special way. It is that sense of inclusion and that feeling of giving back to the community that gives dignity and purpose to our elders. At the same time this tradition establishes a link between the generations that would otherwise so easily slip away. What makes this possible is the intentional planning and coordination of the staff at Marian. It demonstrates how powerful intergenerational activities and community involvement can be. 
   About a month before Halloween, notices are posted asking staff, volunteers, residents, families and members of the community to join us in transforming Marian Center into the Land of Oz. Scenery panels are hand painted, depicting the yellow brick road, the home of the Munchkins and the Wise and Wonderful Oz. Bats, spider webs and ghostly parlors grace the hallway. Pumpkins are carved, scarecrows are stuffed and all is made ready. Candy is donated by those involved in the preparation as well as by Roseville VFW #7555, who generously sponsors the event every year. 
   Each year the celebration gets bigger and better. This year an estimated 350 children came trick or treating, forming a line out the door and around the block. Admission was free to children with a non-perishable food item, and Marian Care Center was able to donate an estimated 400 pounds of food to the Merrick food shelf on Suburban Avenue.
   HealthEast Care Center-Marian of Saint Paul has been hosting this tradition since 1996 and knows full well what a wonderfully balanced and satisfying expression of love it is for everyone involved. 


   Recycling bins and lawn signs are available at 798 East 7th Street.    If you have a neighbor who does not recycle, talk to them about it. Recycling can reduce your trash by at least 40%.  In Dayton’s Bluff last year recycling tonnage (the total pounds of recycling) was down from previous years.  We are working to increase recycling in Dayton’s Bluff.  The December recycling dates are Tuesday December 4 and 18.  If you have any questions call 772-2075.

Community Police Meeting
   The Eastern District Police host a monthly meeting with community members to listen to and address people’s concerns about crime and other issues on the East Side. 
   The community meetings are held at the Eastern District police office at 722 Payne on the corner of  Payne and Minnehaha Avenues.
   Please join your neighbors and the police at either meeting. The next meetings are on Thursday, December 20th at 6:30 pm and on Friday, December 21th at 9:30 am.

Dayton’s Bluff Bookmobile Stops
   Mondays December 3, 17, and 31 at Dayton’s Bluff Playground at Conway and Maple from 2:30 to 3:30 pm; at Mounds Park Meithodist Church at Euclid and Earl from 3:45 to 4:45 pm; and Margaret Playground at Margaret and Frank from 5:00 to 6:30 pm.
   Wednesdays December 12 and 26 at First Lutheran Church at 463 Maria from 9:30 to 10:00 am.  For more information call 651-642-0379.

Basic Skils and ESL Tutoring forAdults
   Free tutoring is available for adults on the East Side of St. Paul.  Tutoring is being offered in basic reading, basic math, GED Prep, and English as a Second Language. 
   We are also looking for volunteer  tutors.  Training and materials are provided.  Both opportunities are on-going. 
  For more information on becoming a tutor or if you or someone you know needs assistance with basic skills or English Language skills, call East Metro Learning Center at 651-778-0111 

Dayton's Bluff Up-Front Gardens
   Up-Front Gardens is a Minnesota State Horticultural Society program promoting gardening in the front yard and boulevard.  These gardens add beauty to the neighborhoods, make it easier for neighbors to stop by to chat, and can be seen all hours of the day. 
   Are you a Gloves-on-Gardener who takes joy in tending your front yard garden and the smiles it brings to the neighborhood?  The Minnesota State Horticultural Society would 
like to add your address to their growing list of  “Up-Front Gardens” in Dayton’s Bluff and across the city and state.  There are no requirements other than adding a discreet 6 inch sign to your garden that lets viewers know where to go on the Internet for more Up-Front Garden addresses and chat with those who might say hello while you’re working in the garden.  You would become part of a group of gardeners dedicated to beautifying our region. 
   Here in Dayton’s Bluff we have a lot of front yard gardens.  We are compiling a list of gardeners names and addresses of the Dayton’s Bluff Up-Front Gardens.  Please call Karen at 651-772-2075 if you have an Up-Front Garden or if you are interested starting a front yard garden. 
The Best Kept Secret In Dayton's Bluff

   For the past year, parents in Dayton’s Bluff have had the opportunity to provide their children with full-day, licensed, Christian daycare complete with hot meals and educational activities at very reasonable rates. 
   The children have participated in field trips, learned about Jesus, their Savior, developed their social and emotional skills, made lots of friends and are now ready for kindergarten! 
   Parents were given the opportunity to evaluate the program this past year and here’s just a sample of what they had to say: “It is very helpful to have preschool and daycare in the same program.  Since my son started the program I am very pleased with all he has learned and the progress he has made. I am very pleased with the program and would recommend JOY to anyone.” 
-”It is a very safe and positive environment. My child has had a wonderful experience at JOY Preschool and Childcare.” 
-”I know the children are safe and loved when they enter the classroom.” 
-”It emphasizes the importance of the child’s relationship with Jesus.”

-”My child enjoys going to JOY and the Christian influence is apparent.-“My son talks about how much Jesus loves him and that he’s special because Jesus died on the cross for him.” 
-”It’s a great place to take my child where I know he is safe and learning a lot.”If you want your child to be a part of the best kept secret in Dayton’s Bluff, just call Wendy at 651-771-6982 to set up a tour. JOY Preschool and Childcare, located at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 655 Forest St., operates Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

CALL 772-2075

Advertise in the Dayton's Bluff District Forum 
call 772-2075

Join or start a Block Club. 
Call Karin at 772-2075

Good Neighbor Code Enforcement 
Volunteers Needed 
Call Karin at 772-2075 

Advertise in the Dayton's Bluff District Forum
Call Karin at 772-2075 

Take a Hike 
     Dayton's Bluff Take a Hike on the first Saturday of every month meet at 10:30 AM in Indian Mounds Park at Earl Street and Mounds Blvd. We will hike from Mounds Park through Swede Hollow Park and then walk the length of the Bruce Vento Recreational Trail (formerly the Phalen Creek Recreational Trail) to its end, near Phalen Park. Along the way we will share stories and learn some local history of the area. The hike is about 6 miles with some moderately rough terrain. Near Johnson Parkway and Maryland, transportation will be available to return to Mounds Park or you may hike back if you wish. 
     Join recreational trail supporters and explore this recreational trail. The paved trail runs from East 7th Street and Payne Avenue through Swede Hollow to Phalen Park. Dayton's Bluff Take a Hike started in December of 1990 and over the years hundreds of people have attended these events. For more information, call 776-0550. 

Free Acting Classes for Adults 
Dayton's Bluff Recreation Center 
800 Conway Street 
Tuesday nights at 6:00 p.m.
Join us. It's fun! 

     Ever feel like you're the only mother who stays home? You are not alone! Come meet other at home mothers at the MOMS Club. 
     The MOMS Club is a national nonprofit organization with hundreds of chapters across the country. We are just for the at-home mother of today! 
     Local chapters have monthly meetings with speakers and discussions, park play days, holiday family parties, outings for mothers and their children, and activity groups like playgroups, arts n' crafts, a monthly MOMS Night Out, and babysitting co-ops. We also do service projects to help needy children. 
     Our activities are during the day, when mothers-at-home need support, and mothers may bring their children with them to our activities. 
     For more information about our chapter call Tracie Lemke at 651-771- 5834.