Hennepin County

County staff fanning out for National Night Out

National Night Out will be a busy time this week for Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and his staff. Freeman will visit neighborhood gatherings in Cedar-Riverside, Brooklyn Center, Crystal, Golden Valley and Robbinsdale on Monday and Tuesday.

More than 200 staff members from the county attorney’s office will join Night Out events across the county Tuesday night, speaking and mingling at gatherings large and small.

“National Night Out is the best day of the year for us,” Freeman said of the coast-to-coast effort to get the word out about police and community programs, such as “be@school,” an effort to help families get their kids to school every day. “We enjoy seeing all these people going out and visiting with their neighbors, building the bonds that can help prevent crime. … It is a good chance to tell Hennepin County residents what we do and hear from them what they would like us to do better.”

staff report


Free day at arboretum for Carver County folks

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum will salute its neighbors on Chanhassen/Carver County Day, Saturday, Aug. 14, when free gate admission will be extended all day to all county residents.

The event will begin with refreshments at 10 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Oswald Visitor Center. Visitors can enjoy gardens of roses, perennials, hostas and annuals and major collections of pines and ornamental grasses. There also are exhibits, including “Nature Connects: Art With Lego Bricks.”

To gain free admission, visitors must show proof of Carver County residency at the gatehouse.


Dakota County

Roadway feedback sought on Cedar Av., Robert St.

Dakota County is asking people to weigh in on two transportation plans for busy roadways.

The county reviewed facilities and transit along Cedar Avenue and has prioritized future expansions and improvements. Community members can give feedback on the long-term plan for Cedar Avenue at www.cedartransitway.com. The comment period for the draft ends Aug. 28.

For those who want to learn more about the plan, an open house will be held at the Cedar Grove Transit Station at 4035 Nicols Road in Eagan from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Dakota and Ramsey counties are also seeking feedback on an analysis of transit options for Robert Street.

The counties studied whether a modern streetcar or bus rapid transit would work best along the street but ended up holding off on a recommendation, saying development plans along the road will factor into what ends up there. The analysis is available at www.robertstreettransit.com. Comments can be submitted through Sept. 11.

Jessie Van Berkel



Boaters get smartphone reminders when at lakes

Boaters on Lake Minnetonka or Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis are being reminded to protect the lakes from the spread of zebra mussels and other invasive species through new pop-up messages on their phones.

Brooklyn Center-based Wildlife Forever has launched new geo-targeted marketing messages on smartphones near the two lakes thanks to “geo-fencing” technology. The messages remind boaters to clean, drain and dry water equipment, and will pop up when a smartphone user is near either lake and clicks on one of thousands of popular websites.

State law requires boaters to remove the drain plug before transporting the boat. Boaters must also clean off weeds and drain water from bait buckets and livewells before transporting a boat.

It’s part of a partnership with Wildlife Forever, Hennepin County and the Star Tribune. Earlier this summer, Wildlife Forever also partnered with the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to post similar public service announcements in concourses. The group has also posted the “Clean, Drain, Dry” messages on billboards, gas station pumps, print ads and on brochures handed out at county fairs.