Coon rapids

Council to sign off on 'yes' park levy vote

Coon Rapids voters last week narrowly approved the city's request to issue $17.4 million in bonds for improvements to parks and trails, and the City Council is scheduled to approve the canvassed results at a meeting Wednesday, Nov. 13.

The vote was 2,637 in favor of the request and 2,490 opposed, a 51-49 percent margin. Turnout was slightly over 14 percent.

Under the plan, nine parks will get full-scale makeovers, with amenities such as new lighting, picnic shelters and playground equipment. A new park, to be called Boulevard Park, will be built. Nearly 35 percent of the levy money will go to building trails and filling gaps in the existing trails system. Officials will work on priorities and the public will have a chance to weigh in before work begins in 2015.


New passport center is open for business

A new passport center has opened at 10995 Club West Pkwy., Suite 700B, in Blaine. The license centers in Blaine and the city of Ramsey no longer accept passport applications, and the new center is the only one in Anoka County that does. It is located adjacent to the Blaine License Center.

Hours of operation are:

• Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m.

• Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

It is closed Saturdays and Sundays.

columbia heights

Taste of Columbia Heights is set for Nov. 22

Food from a variety of Columbia Heights restaurants will be featured at this year's "Taste of Columbia Heights" holiday kickoff, scheduled for 6-10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22, at Murzyn Hall, 530 Mill St. The cost is $2 per sample.

In addition to food, there will be wine and beer tasting, music and a silent auction. Proceeds will go to the Columbia Heights Activity Fund, youth activities and the participating restaurants.

For further information, call Columbia Heights Recreation at 763-706-3733 or Mayor Gary Peterson at 763-706-3607.


Free recycling event set for Thursday will aid schools

The Fridley School District will hold a free community electronics recycling event from 5-9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, at the Fridley Middle School parking lot. People can bring old TV sets, cellphones, video game consoles, desktop and laptop computers, fax machines, DVD and VCR players, and more.

The event is open to all Fridley schools, residents and businesses, and proceeds from the recyclables will benefit Fridley schools. The school is located at 6100 W. Moore Lake Dr., Fridley.

For further information, including a list of electronics that can be brought, go to


Class aims to help seniors avoid scams

Karri Zallar of MoneyGram International will talk with seniors about common types of fraud at an event set for 10-11:30 a.m. Nov. 20 at the Crystal Community Center, 4800 Douglas Dr., Crystal. Zallar will give tips on how to keep from becoming a victim of a scam and discuss steps to take if you do become one.

The presentation is part of the "Donut Make You Wonder?" series, co-sponsored by New Hope, Crystal, Robbinsdale, Brooklyn Center and Senior Services of District 281. The program is held on the third Wednesday of each month at the Crystal Community Center. The fee is $2, which includes a continental breakfast.

To reserve a space for Fraud Prevention, call the New Hope Parks and Recreation Department at 763-531-5151. Register by Friday, Nov. 15.

Brooklyn Center

African community awards dinner set

African Immigrant Services is hosting an African Community Appreciation and Awards Dinner on Friday, Nov. 15, at the Minneapolis Boulevard Hotel, 2200 Freeway Blvd. in Brooklyn Center.

The evening will have a theme of "Investing in Civic Engagement and Equity," with the keynote address given by Lawrencina Mason Oramalu, director of equity and diversity for Minneapolis Public Schools.

In addition to dinner, music and a chance to network, the event will include a fashion show and spoken word performances, as well as the appreciation and awards portion.

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. The official program will run from 7 to 10:30 p.m., followed by extra social hours from 10:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.

Tickets are $20 for students and $35 for adults ($30 per person for couples), with patron options available. They can be ordered online at For further information, send an e-mail to or call 612-388-4767.


Lyric Arts to stage 'It's a Wonderful Life'

"It's a Wonderful Life," the classic holiday story, opens at the Lyric Arts theater at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15. The show will run through Dec. 22, with performances each Friday, Saturday and Sunday and on three Thursdays.

Showtimes will be 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays; there also will be 2 p.m. Saturday matinees on Nov. 16, Nov. 23, Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and Dec. 14. The three Thursday shows will be at 7 p.m. on Nov. 21, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19.

A "talk-back" question-and-answer session with the cast and crew will be held after the Sunday, Nov. 24, production.

For tickets, reservations and other information, call the box office at 763-422-1838 or go to Lyric Arts Main Street Stage is located at 420 E. Main St. in Anoka.


Pediatric CPR class will be held Nov. 23

The city of New Hope will offer a Pediatric CPR/AED class on Saturday, Nov. 23, at which participants can learn skills needed to help infants and children up to age 12 suffering from breathing and cardiac emergencies.

The class, scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m., will give people hands-on experience with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and how to operate an automated external defibrillator (AED). Everyone completing the course will receive an American Red Cross certificate valid for two years.

Participants must be at least 16 years old. The fee is $60 for New Hope residents and $67 for non-residents. To register or get more information, call New Hope Parks and Recreation at 763-531-5151.

Staff reports