St. Paul city and business officials joined cycling enthusiasts Thursday to celebrate the near-completion of the first segment of the city’s new downtown bicycle network.

Dubbed the Capital City Bikeway, the two-way, off-street bike trail runs along a separated pedestrian sidewalk and will connect downtown attractions with the existing regional trail network.

“The Capital City Bikeway is an important project that will make downtown St. Paul more accessible, vibrant and attractive for this next generation of talented workers,” said Mayor Chris Coleman.

When completed, the bikeway will run along Kellogg Boulevard and Jackson, St. Peter, 9th and 10th streets. The remaining Jackson Street segment will be completed in 2017.

The bikeway is part of the St. Paul Bicycle Plan, adopted by the City Council in March 2015 to guide development of a connected network of facilities to encourage bike travel.

James Walsh


Controversial senior housing wins council OK

The Eden Prairie City Council granted preliminary approval last week to a senior housing project, despite testimony from neighbors who spoke against its size and scale.

Prairie Bluffs Senior Living — a 138-unit building with independent living, assisted living and memory-care units — is planned for a 4.7-acre site on Hennepin Town Road near Hwy. 169 and Pioneer Trail.

Several residents said the building, which would be mostly three stories high with one portion rising to four stories, is too tall and large for their residential neighborhood.

“I think senior housing is a great use for this property, but we just think it’s too much for this piece of the land and too big for the neighborhood,” resident Steve Mohn told the council.

The City Council approved the preliminary plans with conditions that the developer work with the city on revising the building’s height and landscaping. The project then would need the council’s final approval.

“I just want the neighborhood to know that we hear you, it matters what you say, we’re trying to address that,” Council Member Sherry Butcher Wickstrom said. “But honestly, I think this is a really good proposal for our community.”



Ceremony, movie to mark Indigenous Peoples Day

Two events will mark Indigenous Peoples Day in Minneapolis on Monday, the second anniversary of recognition of the day by the City Council.

A prayer and pipe ceremony will be held at noon at Coldwater Springs, near 5601 Minnehaha Park Dr. S., between Minnehaha Park and Fort Snelling. The ceremony will be led by actor and filmmaker Sheldon Wolfchild, a member of the Lower Sioux Indian Community.

The Coldwater Committee asked women to wear long skirts out of respect for Dakota tradition; it also suggested bringing lawn chairs.

Wolfchild’s documentary film on 19th-century interactions between the federal government and the Dakota, “Star Dreamers: The Indian System,” will be screened at 7 p.m. at 4200 Cedar Av. S. Wolfchild will lead a discussion following the screening. The event is sponsored by Women Against Military Madness.


St. David’s to open center at Westminster church

Westminster Presbyterian Church trustees last week named St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development, a Minnetonka-based clinic, to provide services for children in a new church wing under construction.

According to church officials, the new Center for Child and Family Wellbeing will offer mental health services for children from birth to age 5 dealing with family trauma and out-of-home placement. It also will house a treatment program for Somali children diagnosed with autism.

St. David’s will occupy about 8,000 square feet on the second floor of the new wing, which is expected to be finished by early 2018. The agency annually provides services to about 3,000 children, teens and young adults with the goal of preparing kids for school and helping them overcome trauma and developmental issues.