Home improvement loans are available

Loans of up to $35,000 are now available from the city of Bloomington to eligible homeowners.

The loans, which are available to homeowners living east of Interstate 35W, west of Hwy. 77 and south of American Boulevard, can be used for repairs to things like roofs, electric, heating and plumbing, gutters, windows, doors, insulation, siding and sidewalk or step repairs.

The loans are repaid when the house is sold or no longer occupied by its owner, and simple interest of 4 percent is charged for the first 10 years.

There are income guidelines as well. For more information or to receive an application, call 952-563-8937. Applications can be downloaded at; search for the keyword CEP II.


U of M Middle East expert to speak

Professor William Beeman, chairman of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, will speak on the Middle East and U.S. presidential politics on Saturday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Edina Community Library, 5280 Grandview Square.

Beeman is an expert on the Middle East and the Islamic world, particularly Iran, the gulf region and central Asia. The talk is sponsored by the League of Women Voters Edina.


Going green for the holidays

Learning to go green for the holidays, including reducing wrapping, giving eco-friendly gifts and making reusable containers, will be discussed at Wood Lake Nature Center on Sunday from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Class size is limited to 20. Cost is $3; members get in free. The park is located at 6710 Lake Shore Drive.


Watershed District hosts public event

The Riley-Purgatory-Bluff Creek Watershed District will host an "Evening with the Watershed" on Thursday.

The free family event starts at 7 p.m. at the Chanhassen American Legion Hall, 290 Lake Drive E. Speakers from the University of Minnesota, Wildlife Forever and Blue Water Science will discuss issues such as aquatic invasive species and the nationwide conservation education program called State Fish Art.


Gingerbread houses, history - and tea

Make a gingerbread house to take home at this year's Family Christmas Tea at the Stans House in Shakopee this month.

The Scott County Historical Society is hosting the tea on Dec. 15 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. In addition to homemaking, there will be tea and holiday treats.

There's an $8 fee for supplies, and with limited space available, reservations are needed. Call 952-445-0378 or e-mail info@scottcountyhis

The museum is located at 235 Fuller St. S. in Shakopee. The Stans House is across the alley from the society's museum on 2nd Avenue.