A Washington County commissioner who died this spring will be commemorated in Oakdale, where he was renowned for his community service.

Ted Bearth, 77, died after an extended lung illness. He was a former Oakdale mayor and council member, chaired the city’s Summerfest celebration, was a founding member of the Oakdale Veteran’s Memorial Committee and the Oakdale Athletic Association, belonged to the Lions Club, and was a Marine Corps veteran.

The Bearth home is adjacent to Tanners Park ball diamond, which will be named the “Ted Bearth Memorial Ballfield” and will include a redwood sign, boulder-mounted bronze plaque, lit flagpole and memorial garden. An electronic scoreboard also is planned and donations can be paid online at www.ci.oakdale.mn.us or by calling 651-739-5086.

Bearth served more than three years on the County Board. He was a champion of Oakdale and other cities and townships in his district, working for greater cooperation between county and city governments on issues such as economic development and transportation.

Kevin Giles

ST. LOUIS PARK

Food vendors invited to learn about packaging

Food vendors and restaurants are invited to a packaging fair to learn more about the city’s new zero-waste-packaging ordinance, which will take effect Jan. 1. Packaging manufacturers and distributors have been invited to showcase items that are in compliance with the ordinance.

City officials will also be on hand to answer questions about the new law and provide information about recycling, composting and business assistance.

The packaging fair will be Tuesday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to noon at Beth El Synagogue, 5224 W. 26th St.

JOHN REINAN

Thomas Friedman headlines fundraiser

New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and 1971 graduate of St. Louis Park High School, will headline a fundraiser on Saturday, May 21, for the St. Louis Park Public Schools Foundation. The 10 a.m. event will take place at the high school, 6425 W. 33rd St.

General admission tickets are $50 and are tax-deductible. A limited number of VIP tickets, which include brunch with Friedman and reserved seating for the talk, are available for $150.

“Our public schools are the backbone of our country,” Friedman said in a news release announcing the event. “To invest in such public institutions is an honor and an obligation.”

Friedman’s talk is titled “Writing for the New York Times But Always Looking for Minnesota.” Proceeds from the event will go to the foundation’s granting program, which supports innovative teacher-designed programs to help students achieve. Tickets are available at www.slppsf.org.

JOHN REINAN

ST. PAUL

Grand Round work to begin on Wheelock Pkwy.

The scenic pathway that will eventually stretch around St. Paul is taking shape, at a pace of one or two miles a year.

St. Paul is set to begin construction on a 1.6-mile addition to the Grand Round along Wheelock Parkway. The city will close the parkway to through traffic from Rice Street to Edgerton Street starting May 31, and construction is expected to continue through the fall.

Mayor Chris Coleman, City Council members, bike enthusiasts and local elementary students, will celebrate construction of the latest section of the trail at 2 p.m. Tuesday on Wheelock Parkway between Jackson and L’Orient streets. They will also unveil a new Grand Round logo.

The city has about 13 miles left to construct on the trail, which landscape architect Horace Cleveland originally envisioned in 1872. This week the city’s Parks Commission signed off on a design and implementation plan that will shape the rest of the trail.

Senior Landscape Architect Kathleen Anglo estimated it will take a decade to finish the bikeway, depending on funding.

JESSIE VAN BERKEL