Sun Current Local News for Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and Richfield Minnesota Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:48:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Eden Prairie will face Wayzata in volleyball finals Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:34:14 +0000 Minnetonka High girls volleyball coach Karl Katzenberger calls the Section 6AAA semifinals “the best night of volleyball in Minnesota.”

Very few of the 700 fans who watched the semifinals Oct. 28 at Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School would disagree.

Grace Persson (12) of the Eden Prairie High volleyball team hits for the point as Minnetonka’s Elyse Wanzenreid can’t make the block. (Sun Sailor staff photo by John Sherman)

Grace Persson (12) of the Eden Prairie High volleyball team hits for the point as Minnetonka’s Elyse Wanzenreid can’t make the block. (Sun Sailor staff photo by John Sherman)

The first match of the evening between top-seeded Eden Prairie and the fourth seed, Minnetonka, went down to the wire. Minnetonka won the first game 25-23, but EP rallied to win the next two by 25-17 margins. Minnetonka roared back with a 25-11 win in the fourth game to set up a fifth game.

In that fifth game, Minnetonka surged ahead and had match point at 14-11. The Skippers fed the ball to their leading hitter, senior Caroline Shelquist, but she was denied by two Eden Prairie blockers.

Eden Prairie took over service and Ashley Brueggeman served the final four points of the match in EP’s 16-14 win.

“After it was 14-11, we had three great swings,” said Katzenberger.

Unfortunately for the Skippers, all three of those hits were blocked.

“They have an amazing team over there,” said Katzenberger, as he pointed toward Eden Prairie. “Our kids did everything we asked and gave everything they had. They played their hearts out.”

It was a match the Skippers could have won, especially after the momentum of their fourth-game success.

“We got off to a great start in that game,” said Katzenberger. “Chad [Eden Prairie coach Becker] pulled his starters in the middle and conceded the game. You will hardly ever see Eden Prairie do that.”

Refreshed for the fifth game, Eden Prairie still had a hard time quelling Tonka’s momentum, but the big plays at the end made the difference and the Eagles advanced to the championship game, which will be played at 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at Benilde-St. Margaret’s.

Wayzata in three

The other semifinal between No. 2 seed Hopkins and No. 3 seed Wayzata was competitive, but Wayzata was able to win all three games – 28-26, 25-20 and 25-17.

Wayzata gained huge momentum from winning the first game, and Hopkins was not able to reverse course.

Outside hitter Tia Dille-Starks was the key player for Wayzata. She showed off her all-court skills with some big hits, finesse plays at the net and timely digs in the back row. Sabrina Leuer came up with kills in the middle and made blocks to end Hopkins rallies.

Samantha Seliger Swenson, playing the final match of her six-year varsity career, led Hopkins’ effort. Overall, Wayzata made quick plays on the ball and blocked extremely well at the net to qualify for the section finals.

Eden Prairie is the taller of the two teams in the finals, but Wayzata shows a tenacity that could make it a very interesting match.

Contact John Sherman at

]]> 0 Given demographic trends, Howard is the man for Richfield City Council Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:02:34 +0000 To the editor:

This November, we registered voters of Richfield will have the opportunity to express our views for the future of Richfield by making a choice and voting for the one seat on our City of Richfield governing council that serves all residents regardless of which area you live in. This position is the at-large council member position. Richfield as the state’s oldest suburb is experiencing re-development in many areas some due to age of homes and businesses and others due to airport runway expansion.

The population or demographics of Richfield have been changing dramatically over the past 10-15 years: our city’s median age for residents is now 36.2 years of age; over 26.7% of all households now have children under 18 years of age;  and roughly 61% of our residents are under 45 years old according to the 2010 U.S. Census.

I am one of many residents who believe that it would serve our city well to have a fresh voice on our City Council to represent a different perspective. We are fortunate that two of our residents have filed for the open At-Large Council Member position.  One of these candidates is, along with his wife, building a new family in Richfield, is closer to the  median age, and can bring a new perspective to our City Council and that is Michael Howard. The Richfield League of Women Voters recently held a Candidates’ Forum at City Hall during which Michael Howard put forth his vision for the future of Richfield. Unfortunately, Herbert Perry, the other candidate for this At-Large Council Member position did not participate.  I have been impressed with Michael Howard’s positive attitude, energy and willingness to serve all of Richfield.  Please join me in voting for Michael Howard for Richfield At-Large Council Member on November 4th.

Doug Olson


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Don’t touch our water Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:59:56 +0000 To the editor:

A response to the Oct. 9 Richfield Sun Current article on the city’s water supply: Water is the best thing Richfield has going for it. Don’t even think about taking that away. It’s non-negotiable. The second best thing is snow removal (plowing).

A conservation effort could be done – rain barrels, less watering of lawns, low-volume toilets – but don’t touch the water coming into our homes for consumption.

Who else is drawing water out of the Jordan Aquifer?

It’s the “Hatfields & McCoys.” Don’t touch our water!

Chuck Bankey


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Perry’s reason for running is genuine Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:54:53 +0000 To the editor:

The other night my doorbell rang. I got up to find a gentleman named Herb Perry standing on my doorstep. He explained he was running for the Richfield City Council.

Normally I thank people like this and just say goodbye. But for some reason I was intrigued and wanted to dig deeper. So I asked: “Why are you running? What makes you want to spend your evenings knocking on the doors of strangers like myself?”

He told me he has lived in Richfield for 15 years and is committed to make our city better, safer and stronger. He believes honest people with the best interests of the community need to step forward to serve, and that service needs to be a motivator for why people want to sit on a city council.

It was refreshing to listen to Herb because, truthfully, I have to admit that I’ve grown a little disgruntled with politics in recent years, especially with all the partisan bickering and gridlock. But as I listened to Herb Perry, I had just the opposite feeling. I believe this guy is the real deal – an honest citizen seeking to serve the public.

I’m going to vote for him for Richfield City Council.

Jim Solberg


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Eden Prairie Lioness Art & Craft Fair is Nov. 1 Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:37:13 +0000 The Eden Prairie Lioness Club Art & Craft Fair is set for 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at Grace Church, 9301 Eden Prairie Road in Eden Prairie. A variety of unique and handcrafted items made by area artisans and crafters, as well as antiques, will be available for purchase. There is no admission fee and parking is free.

The Eden Prairie Lioness Club is a volunteer service organization. All net proceeds that the Lioness receive from this event will go back into the community. The Lioness Club, in partnership with the Eden Prairie Lions, has supported programs like Leader Dogs for the Blind, Hearing and Service Dogs of Minnesota, Minnesota Eye Bank, Teens Alone, PROP Family Stability Program, PACER Puppet Program, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Cornerstone, Friendship Ventures and Eden Prairie Crime Prevention Fund.

For more information about the fair, visit

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Edina City Council approves Fred Richards vision Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:21:05 +0000 The vision of the future Fred Richards park has received the unanimous support of the Edina City Council.

The next step is a strategic plan for Edina’s entire park system, expected to be complete in June 2015, followed by the creation of the detailed master plan for Fred Richards, based on the vision approved Tuesday, Oct. 21 by the city council.

The proposed vision for the Fred Richards property received the Park Board's recommendation. (Submitted graphic)

The proposed vision for the Fred Richards property received the Park Board’s recommendation. (Submitted graphic)

The vision is the “beginning of the creative process and not the end,” said Jeff Schoenbauer of Schoenbauer Consulting, hired to facilitate the vision process. The vision calls for a majority of the park to be passive uses, which are mostly why people go to parks, he told the council. It also includes the repurposing of the clubhouse, an adventure play area, a parkway and connection to the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail.

Strides were made in moving past the closing of the Fred Richards Golf Course and rebuilding trust between the city and residents, but some residents are still upset by the closing of the Fred, Schoenbauer said.

The results of a community needs survey on the city’s park were discussed in a joint meeting of the council and Park Board Monday, Oct. 20. More walking and biking trails, natural areas, picnic areas and indoor exercise facilities were the top four items residents said are needed in Edina.

Fred Richards has the potential to become one of most used parks in the city’s system, Parks and Recreation Director Ann Kattreh said. Ninety-one percent of Edina residents said they would use Fred Richards if it offers the facilities most important to their household and 86 percent of residents living within a mile of Fred Richards said they would use it if it offers the facilities most important to their household, according to the survey results.

Mayor Jim Hovland took issue with the sequence of events, as well as a sketch of the potential uses in the future park.

The community survey on park needs and the park system master plan should have been completed first before the Fred Richards’ vision process, he said. A global search of state-of-the-art park uses should also have been completed prior to the Fred Richards vision.

“I think we’re doing our residents a disservice if we don’t do that because this is something we need to put into place that’s going to be here for the next hundred years,” Hovland said.

Councilmember Ann Swenson said she made the motion last spring to begin the Fred Richards vision process because residents in the neighborhood north of Fred Richards deserved to know and have comfort with the future uses of the site after the “painful closing of the Fred.”

Councilmember Joni Bennett began by saying that some council members have been asking for a park system master plan for years. She noted that the Fred Richards vision outlines possibilities for the future of the Fred Richards site. Water locations, the regional trail and parking issues have all been thought about in the vision, she said.

“It’s not just dreams or speculation,” she said.

Providing a sketch of the potential future Fred Richards also hinders the process, Hovland said, adding that he likes the principles provided in the vision report.

“I don’t favor a situation where the vision plan is shown in a drawing that presupposes what something ought to be. We don’t even have it master planned. I think it’s a bad idea,” he said.

Kattreh replied that they decided to have a sketch to help residents visualize the ideas during the vision process, which began in June. Schoenbauer said that without a drawing showing a buffer between the houses and the park on the north side and a parkway for traffic on the south side of Fred Richards, “residents wouldn’t trust where you’re at.”

Schoenbauer said Hovland’s interest in having creativity in the park’s uses has resonated with the council and Park Board. The community is moving from the animosity over closing the Fred Richards Golf Course into the opportunities a park may have, Schoenbauer said.

Hovland replied, “I did abandon that thin thread of hope that this would stay a golf course a while back. I’m into the next phase that way.”

On the sketch included in the vision report, Hovland said he was concerned about a situation where the soils are so bad on the property that it would become too expensive for the city to have any active uses in the park, but the city could be locked into it because of the vision’s sketch.

The soil quality is going to be an issue and that’s why the active area was kept to about 5-6 acres, Schoenbauer said.

If the city engages the community as it moves forward on Fred Richards, the end product will be a success, he said. However, the city wouldn’t have gotten through the vision process without a sketch because residents wanted it.

Fred Richards will evolve until the process is complete, but residents need to be involved throughout the process.

“Central Park works in New York City because it’s in New York City; the Ferris wheel works in London because it’s in London; and what works at Fred Richards is going to work because it works in Edina and let that evolve organically,” Schoenbauer said.

Contact Lisa Kaczke at or follow her on Twitter @EdinaSunCurrent

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House of Prayer hosts Fall Fest Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:35:50 +0000 House of Prayer Lutheran Church is hosting its annual Fall Festival from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.

The festival will include 50 tables of crafters and vendors, caramel rills, lunch, a raffle and bake sale. Proceeds will be donated to the church’s kitchen fund and to the Simpson Shelter Kitchen Fund.

House of Prayer is located at 7625 Chicago Ave., Richfield.

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Come for Tai Chi, stay for Chai Tea at Richfield United Methodist Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:31:11 +0000 A Tai Chi program meant for arthritis sufferers runs Nov. 3 through Dec. 15 at Richfield United Methodist Church, 5835 Lyndale Ave., Minneapolis.

The 45-minute classes take place at 10 a.m. on Mondays during the period. Past participants reported improved balance, decreased joint pain and increased range of motion. Time for tea and conversation follows the classes.

The seven-week Arthritis Foundation program costs $35, but scholarships are available for those who can’t pay. To register call Tracy at 952-215-7052 or visit

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Winter clothing being collected at Bloomington churches Wed, 29 Oct 2014 17:27:12 +0000 Bloomington’s Human Services Division and Bloomington Public Schools are holding a winter clothing drive to support elementary school students in Bloomington.

Eleven faith community sites in Bloomington will be collecting items through Nov. 10. New and gently used boots, snow pants, waterproof gloves and mittens, winter coats, hats and new socks will be accepted.

A list of the collection sites is available online at

Info: 952-563-8733.

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One last dispatch from the comfy chair Wed, 29 Oct 2014 16:31:42 +0000 PalmersheimI associate the start of my journalism career with HO scale trains.

My first assignment as the fall 2005 intern at the Monticello Times was to write about a gigantic model train layout in a local man’s basement. It was quite a creation, taking up most of the space in the modest-sized room, complete with little touches like an IRS building that produced smoke, so as to appear on fire.

I spent at least three hours on that assignment, the first of many that marked the passage of nearly nine years with the Sun papers. After landing a job covering Lakeville, stories took me to all sorts of places, meeting all kinds of people. I did upside-down loops with the Red Baron Pizza Squadron over Lake Minnetonka. I dressed up in a bee suit and faced one of my biggest fears, handling a bee-covered honeycomb frame at a backyard hive. Finally, I also saw a presidential campaign up close when John McCain came to Lakeville in 2008. There were rarely dull moments, and I often compared the experience to a grown-up version of the field trips on “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.” The world really is full of interesting things, even if they seem mundane on the outside.

Now, this chapter in my life is closing. My last day with Sun Newspapers was Friday, Oct. 24. I am leaving to work in a communications department in a local school district.

It’s strange to think that when I get the Oct. 30 issue of the Sun Current, I will have only a scant idea of what’s inside. By the time the Nov. 6 edition rolls around, it will all be new to me. In a way, I find that really exciting – to view what I’ve worked so long with through the eyes of a reader.

I think that the communities covered by the Sun papers are lucky. In an era when the focus of the media industry is drawn in a thousand directions at once, it’s reassuring to know that the city councils and school boards are still being covered, that the interesting people in our communities are acknowledged, and that the news, both good and bad, is being reported by professionals who are dedicated to their craft. The ground level is often where the most interesting things happen, and once that kind of coverage disappears, it isn’t often that it comes back.

Local newspapers are worth supporting. I encourage you to keep reading the Sun, to write letters to the editor, and to drop a line when you’ve got an idea for a story.

I started here as an intern and ended up overseeing six editions with a weekly circulation of more than 89,000. I’m proud of that, and I’m also proud of the people I work with here – the editors that pour their hearts into their editions each week, the designers who create the canvases those editors work with, and on up the chain. There are good people here, and I hate to leave them. That said, I’m looking forward to the new opportunity that awaits me.

In closing, I’d like to thank the paper for taking a chance on me so many years ago. It’s not often that a single phone call can change a life, but when I got that call while working a temp job in the fall of 2005, I couldn’t have imagined how interesting the experience would end up being.

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