Mike Carlson, the number two cop in the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, is retiring.
Carlson, 52, has been chief deputy in the Sheriff's Office since 2007, serving under Sheriff Rich Stanek. At a recognition ceremony held Tuesday at the County Board meeting, Stanek described Carlson as an insightful leader.
"He is a man of very few, but well-chosen words," said Stanek. "He's had a lifelong commitment to serving, and he leaves behind a strong legacy."
Responsible for day-to-day operations, Carlson created the Violent Offenders Task Force and played a key role during the 2008 Republican National Convention and the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in 2007. He supervised a variety of initiatives, including creation of the Volunteer Services Division, increased coverage of 911 dispatch and the sheriff's emergency communications facility, and international accreditation for the crime lab, Stanek said.
Commissioner Jeff Johnson said Carlson "could run interference like nobody else" when it came to smoothing over political battles between the board and the Sheriff's Office, and Commissioner Mike Opat said he appreciated Carlson's responsiveness when he called about crime in his district, which includes the northeast suburbs.
"This is very humbling," Carlson said at Tuesday's ceremony. "I just want to thank all of the men and women of the office for their great work."
Council revokes massage parlor's license
The Richfield City Council last week formally revoked the business license of a massage parlor that police found was involved in illicit activity.
Richfield Health Massage, located in a strip mall at Lyndale Avenue S. and W. 76th Street, was closed in January following an undercover investigation and search warrant executed by police. They found that three massage therapists had violated several operating rules, including the failure to use coverings on customers and to get required licenses. Employees also had provided sexual massages, according to council documents.
One employee was charged with gross misdemeanor prostitution and two female employees were charged with performing massages without a license, according to the city.
The massage parlor opened in March 2017 after the city sent several reminders that employees needed to be licensed. City officials have yet to receive license applications from the employees who were arrested.
City seeks public input on bike sharing
Edina is considering adopting a bike-share system and looking to its residents for their views on the transportation option.
City officials are requesting feedback through the "Speak Up, Edina!" online forum, available at SpeakUpEdina.org. The discussion board will be open until Friday.
Bike sharing offers public bikes for a fee at stations throughout the city. There are also dockless systems, which allow a user to drop off a bike anywhere in the city.
Golden Valley is expected to become the first city in the state to adopt a dockless system. Dockless bike-share company LimeBike would deploy 500 bikes in the city in April.
Edina reportedly also showed interest in such a partnership, according to Gabriel Scheer, LimeBike's director of strategic development.
Edina's recently updated master plan for pedestrians and bicyclists encourages implementation of a bike-share system. According to the master plan, bikes could be used in commercial districts, such as at W. 50th Street and France Avenue, and in trails found in local parks.
Civitas awarded waterfront design contract
The Wayzata City Council this month awarded a park design contract to Civitas for improvements on a section of Lake Minnetonka.
Called the Wayzata Lake Effect Project, the park enhancements will extend from the Section Foreman House to the historic Depot Park. The project includes:
• An eco park with a restored shoreline marsh to help improve water quality, a pier and an interpretive center inside Foreman House;
• Renovation of a boardwalk from the eco park to Depot Park;
• Redesign of Lake Street with a multi-use plaza, replacing the Broadway municipal parking lot.
Denver-based Civitas has done waterfront work in San Diego and Calgary. Part of the project funds have been raised through a public-private partnership between Wayzata and the Lake Effect Conservancy.
Workshops set on Blue Line extension
Hennepin County is hosting a series of community workshops for residents, businesses and property owners to discuss the planned Blue Line light-rail extension, also called the Bottineau LRT.
The workshops will focus on development near future stations and improving mobility connections in the corridor with sidewalks, trails and possible ride and bike-share services.
Workshops scheduled so far:
• Tuesday, 6-8 p.m., Brooklyn Park City Hall, 5200 85th Av. N., Brooklyn Park;
• March 28, 6-8 p.m., Unity Minneapolis, 4000 Golden Valley Road, GoldenValley;
• April 5, 6-8 p.m., Hennepin County Library, 8500 Broadway Av. W., Brooklyn Park.
The Blue Line extension will operate between downtown Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park, moving through north Minneapolis, Golden Valley, Robbinsdale and Crystal. It will connect downtown with the Blue Line to the Mall of America in Bloomington.