'Buddha Prince' walking play will return

Minneapolis-based TigerLion Arts production company, which was to present "The Buddha Prince" in New York's Central Park over Labor Day weekend, will return to the Twin Cities for outdoor performances at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chanhassen, and Sept. 17-21 at Minneapolis' Powderhorn Park, at the corner of 15th Avenue S. and E. 35th Street.

The Arboretum performance is free with gate admission. The Powderhorn Park performances, which also are free or by donation, are scheduled for 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 2 and 5 p.m. weekends.

"The Buddha Prince" is an outdoor "walking play," taking the audience on a journey through nature. It celebrates the life and teachings of the Dalai Lama and is narrated with excerpts from his teachings and autobiographies.

The play, portrayed by a group of 25 performers, covers the Dalai Lama's early life in a free Tibet up to his escape to India. It was created by Minnesota native Markell Kiefer, who is writer, director and executive producer for TigerLion Arts. For more information, go to www.buddhaprince.org.

HOPKINS

Farmers Market will bring back 'bouja'

The Farmers Market will be reviving a Hopkins tradition during the "Hopkins in Motion" event on Saturday -- bouja, a hearty, delicious soup.

According to the Hopkins Historical Society, bouja was made in Hopkins during the 1940s by the Czech population during the annual Harvest Festival, in a revival of the Czechoslovak custom of celebrating the end of the growing season and the fall harvest.

Vendors at Hopkins Farmers Market will be donating produce, including corn, tomatoes, green beans, carrots, onions and cabbage, which will be added to a base of beef and chicken and slow-cooked for hours at Hopkins Elks Lodge. The result is a rich, stew-like soup. Bouja serving will begin at 10 a.m. at the Farmers Market site just south of the Clock Tower at 9th and Mainstreet in Hopkins.

Other activities at Hopkins in Motion include musical and dance entertainment, a community parade at noon down Mainstreet, guided history tours, a bike rodeo, and vendor booths offering food and other items.

For more information, go to www.thinkhopkins.com/hopkinsinmotion.

EXCELSIOR

Celebrate Apple Day this Saturday

Excelsior will celebrate its 25th Apple Day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday with farm produce, antiques and crafts for sale -- and, of course, apples.

Displays and vendors will set up along Water Street, 2nd Street and Lyman Park. The steamboat Minnehaha and the Excelsior streetcar will be operating, and visitors can ride the steamboat or take the streetcar to the Antique Boat Show at Maynard's Restaurant on Excelsior Bay. Excelsior historian and author Bob Williams will offer a free walking tour beginning at 10 a.m. at the Excelsior Lake-Minnetonka Historical Society Museum, 305 Water St.

A variety of foods will be available during Apple Day along with musical entertainment and activities for kids.

For more information, go to www.southlake-excelsiorchamber.com.

HOPKINS

Share your thoughts on southwest light rail

A public hearing will be held on the proposed southwest light-rail transit line at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 17 in the Eisenhower Community Center theater, 1001 Hwy. 7, Hopkins.

The line would cover a 14-mile route from Minneapolis to Eden Prairie and also serve Edina, Hopkins and St. Louis Park.

The hearing will be held by the Hennepin County Regional Railroad Authority.

HENNEPIN COUNTY

Libraries prepare fall programs

Hennepin County libraries are gearing up for fall with a wide range of programs. Here's a sampling:

• "Game On!" Gaming Tuesdays, 4-7 p.m. Sept. 8-29 at the Central Library in Minneapolis, 300 Nicollet Mall. For teens in grade six and up, a chance to play PS2 or Wii games at the library. Call 612-630-6000 for more information.

• Teen Anime Club, 3 p.m. Tuesday, St. Louis Park Library, 3240 Library Lane, St. Louis Park. For teens in grades seven and up, a chance to watch and review new anime episodes, share artwork and hang out with other anime fans. For more information, call 612-847-6125.

• Teen Guys Read Book Club, 11-11:45 a.m. Sept. 26 at the Southdale Library, 7001 York Av. S., Edina. For guys in grades seven through nine, a chance to get together and talk about great books with other guys. Sign up and pick up a copy of the book at the library information desk. For more iniormation, call 612-847-5900.

• "10 Sites in 10 Clicks": Technology for Seniors, 1 p.m. Sept. 30 at Eden Prairie Library, Hennepin County Library, 565 Prairie Center Drive, Eden Prairie. A chance to take a quick tour of some websites and explore free online tools, including how to share photos and videos online and senior-friendly gaming with Wii. For more information, call 952-847-5375.

These and other programs are also available at other libraries in the 41-library Hennepin County system. For details, go to www.hclib.org.

WEST METRO

Bill Glahn to speak at TwinWest breakfast

TwinWest Chamber's September Legislative Breakfast will feature Bill Glahn, director of the Office of Energy Security and deputy commissioner of the Department of Commerce, talking about green energy and green jobs.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30-9 a.m. Sept. 18 at Doubletree Park Place Hotel, 1500 Park Place Blvd., St. Louis Park. Advance tickets cost $30 for members and $40 for non-members. Tickets will be $10 more at the door. Register online by Saturday at www.twinwest.com/calendar.html or call the TwinWest office at 763-450-2220.

CHANHASSEN

Learn how to cook with local food

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is offering cooking classes emphasizing locally grown foods through the fall.

• Dinner With a Chef series:

Cooking from the Garden, 6:30-9 p.m. Sept. 24. Walk through the garden with a chef as he picks the freshest ingredients, then incorporates them into recipes for the evening's meal in a demonstration-style class.

A Taste of France at the Arboretum, 6:30-9 p.m. Oct. 22, with a chef sharing secrets about new and traditional French cuisine.

Cost is $45 per class for Arboretum members and $55 for non-members.

• Saturdays in the Kitchen -- a chance to prepare and sample new ingredient combinations and then take a supply home. Sessions, which cost $40 each for Arboretum members and $50 for non-members, include:

Gifts from the Kitchen, 9-11 a.m. Oct. 10. Creations include sweet and savory butters, homemade mustards, tortas, creamy pestos and cheese.

Cookies with a Twist, 9-11 a.m. Nov. 7. Learn to dress up holiday cookies using herbs and spices.

Holiday Appetizers, 9-11 a.m. Dec. 5.

For details or to register for any of these classes, visit www.arboretum.umn.edu or call 952-443-1422.

Symposium to address clean water and land

A symposium on the impact of the new Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment approved by voters last fall is scheduled for Sept. 24-25 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.

The Arboretum, the Minnesota Land Trust and the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District are sponsoring the event aimed at local government officials, green industry professionals and environmentalists.

The goal is to help communities and natural resource professionals better manage land and water resources and maximize new opportunities for funding.

Speakers will include Tom Schueler, head of the Chesapeake Stormwater Network and a national pioneer in storm water management; Michael Mucha, public works director of Olympia, Wash., a city that has implemented cutting-edge clean-water practices; Rep. James Oberstar, state Rep. Jean Wagenius, co-chair of the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources, and other experts. Panel discussions also will include representatives from various environmental groups and Minnesota cities.

The Sept. 24 agenda will deal with land-conservation issues, and the agenda for Sept. 25 will address clean-water practices.

Cost is $50 per day for members of the Arboretum, Minnehaha Creek Watershed District or the Minnesota Land Trust, and $60 a day for non-members. For details, go to www.arboretum.umn.edu/landconservationcleanwater.aspx or call the arboretum at 952-443-1422.

HENNEPIN COUNTY

Experts offer advice on retirement finance

"How Can I Afford Retirement?" -- a free four-part series to help you make informed financial decisions -- will be presented at two Hennepin County libraries in the coming weeks. The seminars are for all levels of investment knowledge and individuals who are either approaching retirement or are recently retired.

They are scheduled at the Central Library at 300 Nicollet Mall, 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursdays Sept. 24, Oct. 8, Oct. 22 and Nov. 5; and at Ridgedale Library, 12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, 10 a.m.-noon on Saturdays Oct. 3, Oct. 17, Oct. 31 and Nov. 14.

Session topics are: taking the mystery out of retirement planning; closing the gap -- investment and expense strategies, even for late starters; investing wisely to avoid the financial risk of longer life expectancy; and protecting your investments -- the best defense is a wise and safe investor.

Sessions will be presented by financial experts and librarians followed by a question-and-answer panel.

For more information, go to www.hclib.org/affordretirement.

WEST METRO

Cars for Courage charity boat drive

Cars for Courage, the Courage Center's vehicle donation program, is calling on boat lovers to donate vessels to the first annual Cars for Courage Boat Drive.

The event is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the BayView Event Center parking lot, 687 Excelsior Blvd., Excelsior.

Cars for Courage accepts boats, cars, trucks, jet-skis, ATVs, motorcycles and other motor vehicles of value. The first 30 people who donate will receive a 2009 Public Cruise Gift Certificate for two on any of BayView Charter Cruises or The Queen of Excelsior Public Cruises.

The event is being sponsored by the South Lake-Excelsior Chamber of Commerce, BayView Event Center and CBS Radio.

ST. LOUIS PARK

Senior oil painting classes begin Monday

The St. Louis Park Senior Program will offer two six-week oil painting classes beginning Monday. One class will be held Mondays from 9:30 a.m. to noon and is designed for more advanced students. The other will be offered from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoons and is designed for beginning students.

Second sessions of both of these classes begin on Nov. 2.

The classes will be held at the Lenox Community Center, 6715 Minnetonka Blvd., St. Louis Park.

Cost is $34. For more information on these and other senior program activities, go to www.stlouispark.org or call 952-928-6444.

LAURIE BLAKE, KEVIN DUCHSCHERE, HERON MARQUEZ ESTRADA, MARY JANE SMETANKA