Registration open for West Metro Miracle League

Registration is open through March 30 for the West Metro Miracle League, a baseball league for special-needs children and youth.

The league is open to all special-needs children ages 3 to 19 with cognitive or physical challenges; games will take place at Minnetonka's Bennett Family Park every Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday in May and June.

Each player is paired with a volunteer buddy for the season; the field also features a special rubberized surface for safety purposes. This year, the league is adding a new "Player's League" for players requiring only minimal help from buddies.

A preseason clinic for all registered players will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on March 30 at the Tonka Dome at Minnetonka High School.

The league, which started in 2008, has grown to include 150 players and more than 1,000 buddies and volunteers. The cost to register a player is $75 per child; families with more than one child receive a discount of $5 per child when registered at the same time. To sign up go to www.westme tromiracleleague.org.


Planning a wedding? City hosts Bridal Expo

The city of Plymouth will hold its annual Bridal Expo from noon-3 p.m. March 22.

The event will take place at the Plymouth Creek Center, 14800 34th Av., and will showcase wedding services and suppliers such as caterers, party rentals, florists, bakeries and photographers.

Preregistration costs $2; admission at the door costs $4. To preregister, call Plymouth Creek Center at 763-509-5280.

Think spring: City to hold free plant workshop

The city of Plymouth's free plant-selection workshop will take place March 27.

The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Plymouth Library, 15700 36th Av. N. Participants will learn how to select trees and shrubs and balance aesthetic appeal, utility, sustainability and wildlife benefits. A University of Minnesota tree care adviser will be available to provide one-on-one assistance.

For more information, call Forestry Technician Lara Newberger at 763-509-5945. For information on available plants and pricing, or to place an order, go to plymouthmn.gov/treesale.


Writers Festival, Book Fair to feature variety of events

The 11th annual Bloomington Writers Festival and Book Fair will be held Saturday, March 22, with a free book fair, author readings, book signings and workshops.

The day will begin at 9:30 a.m. with Bloomington resident Nancy Carlson, an award-winning author, talking about her life as a writer and illustrator of more than 60 picture books for kids. Penny Sansevieri, founder and CEO of Author Marketing Experts, will speak at 11 a.m. on "How to Sell Books by the Truckload on Amazon." A free book fair will run from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The festival includes 22 workshops that run from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 Old Shakopee Rd. Topics include getting started, writing for children of all ages, publication and promotion. Preregistration is required for workshops, panel discussions and lunches and cost from $12 to $26 each. For more information or to register, go to www.btacmn.org or call 952-563-8575.

Photo books of memories help those with dementia

Thursday's Coffee Talk at Creekside Community Center will focus on how to maintain contact with people who have dementia with the help of a photo book of memories. Debbie Bachel of Creative Health Care Management will share information about how to helping those with memory loss.

Bring your own photos to this free event; coffee and treats will be provided. The session will run from 10 to 11 a.m. at the center at 9801 Penn Av. S. Call 952-563-4944 to register.


Free film on honeybee problems to be held Friday

The documentary film "More Than Honey" will be shown at 7 p.m. Friday, March 21, at Edina City Hall, 4801 W. 50th St., as part of a series of events focusing on issues facing honeybees and the role of pollinators.

The movie, exploring the issue of colony collapse disorder and other bee problems, is free and will include a post-film discussion.

The event is presented by the city's Energy & Environment Commission, the city parks and recreation department and the commission's Local Food Task Force. Events focusing on how to help bees in gardens will follow in April and May.

Polar explorer Bancroft will speak on March 26

Polar explorer Ann Bancroft will speak at a joint meeting of the Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and Richfield Chambers of Commerce at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 26.

The meeting will take place at the Edina Country Club, 5100 Wooddale Ave. S. Admission is $25 for members and $35 for nonmembers.


Edina author celebrates launch of her first book

Edina author Roseanne Cheng will celebrate the launch of her first book, "The Take Back of Lincoln Junior High," this week.

The event will take place 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 23, at Magers & Quinn Booksellers in Minneapolis. The book, published by Wise Ink Publishing of Minneapolis, is the story of junior high teens trying to take back their school after budget cuts force it to start a program where corporate sponsorships are sold to fund everything.

Cheng is a former high school English teacher. For more information, go to www.teachablelit.com.


Meeting to be held April 8 about hoped-for co-op

The next meeting on a hoped-for new co-op in Robbinsdale will be held April 8.

It will take place at 7 p.m. at Robbinsdale United Church of Christ, 4200 Lake Rd. The meeting, which is open to the public, will give an update on the project.

Since this summer, a group of residents and city leaders have been discussing starting a co-op to replace the city's only grocery store, a Rainbow Foods, which closed last April. They hope the co-op will eventually open in Robbinsdale and draw members from Brooklyn Park and Crystal.

For more information, go to www.robbinsdalefoodcoop.org.


Local legislators support capital investment bill

State Sen. David Osmek and Rep. Cindy Pugh have introduced a $5 million capital investment bill in the state bonding bill this session that would help with improvements to Excelsior's lakeside park, the Commons, and the adjoining port area.

The city says the park is a regional asset used by thousands of nonresidents for free every year.

"We believe their leadership will help bring financial support to our regional recreational asset of the western metro area," Mayor Mary Gaylord said in a statement. "The Excelsior Commons improvement is a top priority for our residents, businesses, and all of the visitors to our city."