Girl Scout cookies go on sale Saturday

It's Girl Scout cookie time, and soon you'll find Girl Scouts at your door or staffing tables at retail stores to sell eight varieties of cookies, from Do-Si-Dos to Thin Mints.

This year the cookies will come in packaging that highlights the business skills the girls learn selling them: setting goals, managing money and developing people skills in dealing with customers. They also learn about business ethics, problem-solving and making critical decisions.

The sales period is Feb. 2 -March 17. Cookie booths will be operated Feb. 11-March 17. A cookie booth locator is available at www.girlscoutsrv.org/cookies.

Each package of cookies costs $4, and of that amount, 70 percent goes to the Girl Scout troop and council to fund programs.

Last year, River Valley's Girl Scouts earned more than $2.9 million for Scout programs.


City to buy 12 homes for parkway and trail

The Richfield City Council last week approved a plan to buy 12 houses on 17th Av. S. across from the Home Depot and Target complex near Cedar Avenue and E. 66th Street.

The plan, which was unanimously approved, will lead to the removal of those houses and construction of a slow-drive street called Richfield Parkway, as well as a bike and walking path that is part of the Intercity Trail.

Work on the parkway and paths is not expected to begin until 2014. Some of the homes are in foreclosure, meaning the city will have to negotiate their sale with banks, which could take months.


Wildlife refuge chief is switching jobs

Charlie Blair, who has been manager of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge for five years, is moving up the ladder at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In February, he will become refuge chief for eight Midwest states in U.S. Fish and Wildlife's regional office, which is based in Minnesota.

A new manager for the refuge -- which is headquartered on the Minnesota River near the Mall of America and is one of only a handful of urban refuges in the country -- is expected to be named this spring.


Citizen's Academy registration begins

Edina residents who want to get an inside look at the police department can register for an 11-week course that includes mock traffic stops, a tour of the Hennepin County Jail, teaching about weapons and defensive tactics, and a ride-along with an officer.

Classes will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursdays from March 7 to May 16 at either the police department, 4801 W. 50th St., or the South Metro Public Safety Training Facility, 7525 Braemar Blvd.

The class costs $25, and registration is due March 1. Participants must be at least 21 years old and pass a criminal background check. For more information or to register, contact Officer Brian Hubbard at 952-826-1610 or visit www.EdinaMN.gov/Police.


Event raises money for children's hospital

The "Make a Splash Event" will take place from 4-8 p.m. March 3. All proceeds will go to the Minnesota Medical Foundation to support Child Family Life at the hospital.

The event will include games, a silent auction, an online auction and unlimited access to the water park for participants.

The Mary Moon Foundation is a nonprofit based in Apple Valley, started in memory of Mary Jacqueline O'Keefe, who was hospitalized there with cancer.

The foundation raises funds to buy art supplies, toys and games for the young patients at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital.

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


Talk on problems in the ocean

On Saturday, marine biologist Martin Tresguerres will speak by national conference call to meetings of the Citizens Climate Lobby on ocean acidification and the effect on marine coral.

Tresguerres, a professor at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography, can be heard from 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Wayzata Community Library, 620 Rice St.; the Southdale Library, 7001 York Av. S. in Edina; and the Linden Hills Library at 43rd and Xerxes Av. S. in Minneapolis.


Comment period opens on Kingswood park

The Three Rivers Park District has launched a public comment period on its pending purchase of the Kingswood property as a park.

Acquisition of the property will provide recreational and educational access to Little Long Lake, the park district said. It would also secure property for a future regional trail linking the Luce Line State Trail, Gale Woods Farm, Dakota Rail Regional Trail, Lake Minnetonka Regional Park, Carver Park Reserve and the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail.

A 30-day public comment period will be observed through Feb. 26. Comments may be sent to Three Rivers Park District, Kingswood Special Recreation Feature, 3000 Xenium Lane N., Plymouth, MN 55441-1299. They also can be faxed to 763-557-5248 or e-mailed to Kingswood@three riversparkdistrict.org.

Comments also will be taken at an open house on the acquisition plan set for 4:30-6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Gale Woods Farm Education Center, 7210 County Road 110 W. in Minnetrista.

For more information, call 763-559-9000.


Police offer tutorial on locking down business

The Bloomington Chamber of Commerce will present "How to Implement Lockdowns at Your Business" with Bloomington Police Department from 7:30-9 a.m. on Feb. 19.

The police recommend that businesses have lockdown plans in place, and this event will show how to develop and carry out a strategic lockdown plan. Jody Rogers, vice president of human resources at SFM Mutual Insurance Co., will discuss how lockdowns work.

This free event, which will be held at the chamber office, 9633 Lyndale Av. S., Suite 200, in Bloomington, is for members and nonmembers.

Pre-registration is required. Go to www.bloomingtonchamber.org or contact Anna Stinson at 612-370-9123 or astinson@ bloomingtonchamber.org.


Tax assistance offered for seniors, others

On Mondays and Tuesdays from Feb. 4-April 15, the AARP Tax Assistance program will offer free help for older taxpayers and people on limited incomes. Help is offered on a first-come, first-served basis from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Hopkins Activity Center, 33 14th Av. N.

Taxpayers should bring all tax forms as well as last year's tax return, Social Security card, property tax statements and evidence of charitable donations and medical expenses.

Staff reports