Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.
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If you have a two-story accessory structure in Afton, such as a garage or storage shed, be warned that the city knows and is not pleased. The topic of two-story accessory structures began at the May meeting of the Afton Planning Commission when an application from Mike and Trudy Berggren was received requesting several variances so that they may tear down three dilapidated accessory structures and construct one new 940 square-foot structure.
Eileen and Jeff Eng were avid campers before they had kids, but now they're seven-year-old twins Charlie and Keegan are at the age where they can start experiencing the fun of camping, and the Carver Lake Campout was a great way to get an introduction to camping. The Carver Lake Campout was July 10-11 at Carver Lake Park. During the campout families brought only their tents, sleeping bags and pillows; the city supplied everything else.
Afton already has a controversial tower in their midst, but could another structure beginning with a 'T' be added into the mix? Turbines. At the July 6 meeting of the Afton Planning Commission, commissioners heard a presentation from Ralph Jacobson, from Innovative Power Systems, about wind turbines. The issue of wind turbines was looked into by the planning commission, because a new property owner, Alida Messinger, is requesting to install a wind turbine on the property located at 536 Stagecoach Trail South.
One of the biggest summertime draws for children and their families is the Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department's Puppet Wagon. Each year, all summer long, a mobile puppet theater goes to various parks in the city to provide some morning entertainment. Show's last approximately 15 minutes, and include music, dancing puppets, and audience interactions.
Camping can hold a lot of fun for families -- sitting around a campfire, playing games, being outdoors and sleeping under the stars. But it can also have it's downsides -- rain, insects, outdoor bathroom facilities, among others. Woodbury Parks and Recreation Department is offering families a chance to enjoy all of the fun of camping, while lessening some of the downsides.
Washington County has reigned in the decision surrounding the reclassification of horse boarding facilities until they have undertaken a study evaluating the issue. Earlier this year, the Washington County Assessor's Office reclassified properties where horse boarding and training occur from agricultural to commercial. This reclassification has resulted in significant increases in property taxes for those properties and could ultimately run horse boarders out of business. Shortly after the reclassification occurred, the cities of Grant, Hugo and May Township drafted resolutions combating t
If you've ever been to an Afton government meeting, you've witnessed the pride the city has for its community, but some residents are asking where's that same pride when it comes to keeping their parks clean? At the June 29 meeting of the Afton City Council, council members discussed the poor shape of Steamboat Park, located off of St. Croix Trail South in downtown Afton, and ways to maintain it. Afton resident Rich Myhers brought these concerns to the council.
The Afton City Council, and Afton residents, have always had contrasting opinions on issues, but recently these strong opinions have been starting to slow the meetings down and cause tensions to flare. Mayor Pat Snyder decided to address these problems at the June 29 council workshop when she initiated a discussion about proper meeting decorum. "I have noticed that things have been getting difficult," she said. "And it's been going that way for a while." Snyder said she was concerned about both the audience speaking out of turn, and the way council members behave towards each other.
In a new business venture, Leather & Lace Motorcycle Apparel, in Afton, will be branching off and offering their customers a "ride in peace," once they have reached the end. Ride in Peace, a new company from Leather & Lace owners Jim Kaempfer and Donna Schndele will offer a motorcycle hearse for memorial services. "Some people are a little shocked when they first see it, but then they understand what it is," Kaempfer said. This is the first motorcycle hearse in Minnesota.
A little Fourth of July rain didn't dampen the spirits of the hundreds of people who came out for Afton's annual parade. Throngs of people lined St. Croix Trail in Afton as they watched the many businesses and people parade down the street. Children were armed with their bags and baskets as they jetted in and out of the street collecting as much delicious loot as they could. East Ridge High School even got in on the fun when the ERHS cheerleaders danced their way down the street in the parade.