A comprehensive plan to overhaul school buildings in the Forest Lake district didn't persuade voters, who soundly defeated it.
The May 20 bond referendum proposal, seeking $176 million to renovate old buildings, improve security and merge two junior high schools, was rejected in every city in the district except Lino Lakes. Overall, only 39.9 percent of voters supported the measure.
Voters in Forest Lake, Scandia, Columbus, Linwood and Wyoming voted against the proposal by a wide margin.
The largest turnout was in Forest Lake, were 2,133 voters voted no and 1,413 voted yes.
Last week's defeat follows a smaller, failed one in 2010. The district had worked hard to broaden public appeal on the new referendum. In October 2012, the district assembled a task force, including parents and other residents, to review shortcomings in such areas as building security, antiquated fire alarms and potential energy savings.
County road changes topic at open house
Proposed improvements on County Road 5 will be explained at an open house from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, May 28, at Our Savior's Lutheran Church, 1616 W. Olive St., Stillwater. The meeting is being conducted by Washington County.
County Road 5 is a north-south link in Stillwater. However, it lacks adequate pedestrian and bicycle accommodations and connections to other facilities, such as the new Browns Creek State Trail, the county said. The current study is looking at ways to improve conditions and connections for pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as improving safety and mobility for motorists on the 2.5-mile corridor.
The study focuses on four segments:
• Croixwood Boulevard to Pine Tree Trail;
• Pine Tree Trail to Owens Street;
• Linden Street to St. Croix Avenue;
• St. Croix Avenue to Hwy. 96.
Anyone who can't attend the meeting can find more information at www.co.washington.mn.us/countyroad5, or by contacting Joe Gustafson at 651-430-4351 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Foundation launches 'Corporate Partners'
The Stillwater Area Foundation (SAF) has launched its Corporate Partners Program, which enlists corporate and business leaders to provide continuous funding for the foundation.
Money raised supports the Youth Philanthropy program, which enlists students age 15 and older at all schools in the Stillwater Area school district — public, private, or charter — to become agents of change in their community; the Great Idea Competition, which encourages residents to present their great ideas for improving the Stillwater area in a lasting way; and the Civic Leadership Project.
Corporate leaders who have joined the giving program so far include Eckberg Lammers Law Firm, Cummins Law Firm, Cates Fine Homes, Merrill Lynch, First State Bank and Trust, and Central Bank. For more information, contact Shannon Hooley Enright at 612-351-2111.
The Stillwater Area Foundation is affiliated with the St. Croix Valley Foundation.
WWII planes fly at Memorial Day event
Two vintage AT-6 Warbird World War II aircraft will be part of Stillwater's Memorial Day ceremony. The AT-6 often is used in movies depicting war battles in the Pacific. The ceremony will be held at the Stillwater Veterans Memorial at Third and Pine streets starting at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day.
World War II veterans Bob Clemens and Vince Parker will be the featured speakers. A native of White Bear Lake, Clemens enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1942 at age 18. He flew 50 bombing missions over Europe as an aerial navigator on a B-17 Flying Fortress. When the war ended, he had been scheduled for a tour in the Pacific as a cruise control officer aboard a B-29.
Parker served as an 18-year-old tail gunner aboard a B-17, surviving several close calls and a horrific crash in Italy in 1945. He is originally from Ortonville, Minn.
The Stillwater memorial honors veterans, living and deceased, with engraved pavers and a "Wall of Honor" that lists the names of service members who attended Stillwater area schools and lost their lives in a time of war, from the Civil War to the present.
Pavers are available. For more information, visit www.stillwaterveteransmemorial.org or call 651-344-6245.
Fair seeks nominees for 'Fair Senior Day'
The Washington County Fair will name one man and one woman as Outstanding Senior Citizens at the annual "County Fair Senior Day" on Friday, Aug. 1. Fair officials are now seeking nominations for people 70 or older who volunteer.
To obtain a form to nominate someone, contact Emilie Carlson at 651-439-0293 or go to washingtoncountyfair.org to print a form. The deadline for submitting nomination forms is June 16.
Nominees must be 70 years of age by June 1, residents of Washington County, and have volunteered for activities or organizations where they live.
Dinner fundraiser for prison meal-packing
Mano Amiga's Meals from the Heart restorative justice program, "Serving Beyond the Bars," will hold a dinner on May 29 at the Lake Elmo Inn to raise money for a meal-packing event at Stillwater prison that will place meals in local food shelves.
Money raised will buy rice, textured soy protein, a blend of dehydrated vegetables, and a vitamin and mineral powder that will be placed into plastic bags. The offenders hope to pack 12,500 bags of food — about 75,000 meals.
The dinner is open to the public. Tickets cost $75 per person and include a steak dinner and a silent auction. For more information and to register, see eventbrite.com and then search: Serving Beyond The Bars.
Ventriloquist coming to community center
The Newport Library and Community Center will be hosting ventriloquist James Wedgwood on Saturday, May 31, at 2 p.m. He is an entertainer who uses comic ventriloquism, outrageous characters and audience participation. Known as a one-man variety show, according to his website,
Wedgwood makes everything talk — from wooden "associates," to purses, bottles, and audience members who open their mouths as he provides the words.
More information about Wedgwood is available at glberg.com/james_wedgwood.
Recreation programs seeking participants
Registration has opened for the City of Scandia's summer recreation programs. Many activities are offered in partnership with Camp Lakamaga, including full-day and half-day camps.
Preregistration is required for all programs. Fees and reservation deadlines vary. Call office assistant Judi Negus at 651-433-2274 or find detailed information and registration forms at www.ci.scandia.mn.us.
Marine on St. Croix
Memorial Day event at Vets Campground
Veterans Campground on Big Marine Lake will host a Memorial Day program, followed by a potluck luncheon, on Monday, May 26, beginning at 12:30 p.m. Speakers will be state Sen. Karin Housley, the Dakota County veterans service officer and Col. Eric D. Ahlness of the Minnesota National Guard.
A message from U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, who will be overseas visiting troops, will also be read. The event is open to the public. Bring a salad or dessert to share. The campground is at 11300 180th St. N., Marine on St. Croix.