Go online to offer your thoughts on tax

Scott County has chosen the question of an add-on sales tax for transportation to launch a new online forum that lets folks too shy or too busy to speak up at a board meeting to speak up online instead.

It's called "Speak Up, Scott County!" and it's at www.

It's being called a "virtual town hall forum" — a slow-motion conversation in which citizens and public officials debate an issue.

The site is moderated, meaning comments are checked by staffers paid by the county to make sure it doesn't spiral into invective.

People posting thoughts don't have to disclose names to others, although some do so.


Clean Up Day is later this month

Shakopee's annual Clean Up Day is coming on April 26.

The event is open to city residents and those from Jackson and Louisville townships, and IDs will be checked.

It takes place from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at 400 Gorman St., with the entrance off 4th Avenue.

It's a chance to discard appliances, yard waste, tires, car batteries, electronics, scrap metal and other items.

The cost is $20 per vehicle for recyclables and $25 to $30 per vehicle for non-recyclable refuse. There are add-ons for some items.

Visit for more details.

At the same time, ­Shakopee Rotary will collect furniture and household items for Bridging Inc. Donations are tax deductible.

Contact Rotarian Tim Whitcomb, 952-445-6170, for an at-home pickup.


Spring cleaning, or collecting treasures?

Registration ends this month for Burnsville's annual Community-Wide Garage Sale on May 16-17.

The city will provide a map listing all registered garage sales. Those registering will get a number and sign to place in the yard.

Registration forms are at and at City Hall, 100 Civic Center Pkwy. There is a $20 fee, and credit cards are accepted online only. The registration deadline is April 25.

Inver Grove Heights

Children's play is free at Inver Hills College

A free theater outing for kids grade K-3 is being offered later this month.

Inver Hills Children's Theatre, at Inver Hills Community College, is offering "Cinderella" at 1 p.m. on April 19.

The play is an adaptation by Michele Vacca, directed by George Roesler.

The venue is the Fine Arts Theatre, 500 E. 80th St., Inver Grove Heights.

For more information, call 651-450-3588 or e-mail

south metro

Intro to camping offered at state parks

Two state parks within short drives of the south metro will be the settings for low-cost camping experiences aimed at families.

The target audience is "people who have never pitched a tent or cooked over a fire — or who have forgotten how," officials say.

In all, 24 "I Can Camp!" programs are offered this summer.

The first ones are scheduled for June 7 at Nerstrand Big Woods, near Faribault, and Wild River, near Center City.

Camping equipment is provided, including tents, air mattresses and cook stoves. Participants bring food and bedding: sleeping bags or blankets and pillows.

Instructors help with tent setup and meal preparation, and organize activities such as geocaching and digital photography.

One-night events are $40 for up to six people in a tent and will take place most Saturdays in June through August. Eight two-night events are $60 for up to six people.

Dates and locations are at or 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.Reservations are required, online or by phone: or 1-866-857-2757 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily).