Riham Feshir has been a reporter/ photographer with the Woodbury Bulletin since 2011. She covers Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news around the city. Riham holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked for two other Forum Communications newspapers in Central Minnesota.
Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.
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Residents of Woodbury and the surrounding areas will get a chance to see a hidden Twin Cities gem next week on a tour hosted by the city and the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District. Tamarack Nature Preserve, a rare ecosystem located north of Valley Creek Road off Tower Drive, is home to more than 150 acres of high plant and animal diversity. The swamp is one-of-a-kind.
An Eagle Scout since the age of 14, William Stout of Woodbury has done much to earn top honors. But his most recent recognition comes after a full year of community service work that he takes pride in. The 18-year-old was named Minnesota's VFW Scout of the Year, which puts him in the running for a national award. "They were happy to see that I had a great service record ... I've organized tons of events," he said of the VFW. One of the major events Stout organized a few years ago was a walk for Down Syndrome.
Professionalism, national branding and the support behind a franchise led a Woodbury man to start the first Fresh Coat business in Minnesota. Steve Bowen is owner of the Woodbury-based franchise. He services the entire metro area through the interior and exterior painting business with a crew of four. "(Fresh Coat) has the national branding and structure behind it," Bowen said. "I wanted to have a professional image." The business, which opened in early June, has so far been booked three weeks out.
In a brief meeting Wednesday, June 22, Woodbury City Administrator Clint Gridley announced the city would not be affected under a state shutdown. "Our lights are going to be on even if the state's are off," he said. In other business, the council approved: An application for the final plan and developer's agreement for the Stonemill Farms 7th Addition Phase II. The applicant, Newland Communities, requested platting the final 33 units of its approved 90-unit multi-family project.
On a late Friday morning, Central Park's traffic was steady, calm and people could easily find spaces to sit. It may have been the nice weather outside after recent days of gloominess and rain, but it may have also been an ordinance that's now strictly enforced by city officials. The ordinance, which prohibits members of the public from using the park for business meetings, tutoring or any other jobs for personal gain, is nothing new. But it's now posted everywhere. "Almost every table was being used for sustained business practices," Recreation Supervisor Jodi Sauro said.
Woodbury City Council reviewed last week a planning document highlighting projects and adjustments to various city funds over the next five years. The Wednesday, June 15 workshop discussed the annual Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), which details specific projects for the year 2012, but gets broader the following four years. "This is an important planning tool," Finance Director Tim Johnson said. He added that the property tax levy has been constant since 2008 and there will not be a projected increase in 2012.
The baby boomers -- 1.5 million strong in Minnesota -- will lead the state into uncharted territory as they continue to age, according to the Minnesota Department of Human Services.
The future of Woodbury's southern reaches so far appears vibrant and colorful. A new grocery store will be first to join "Bielenberg Garden," a retail center to be built as part of the Urban Village, an "L" shaped area located east of Radio Drive and south of Bailey Road, near Bielenberg Sports Center.
With the economic downturn over the last three years, the golf industry was one of many that got hit with declining revenues. Eagle Valley Golf Course, a Woodbury municipal operation, was not immune to the dismal economy. Revenue projections made in the 1990s have not been met, according to city documents. Woodbury City Council reviewed a plan at last Wednesday's workshop that would modify Eagle Valley's debt structure starting in 2012.
The children's rhyme goes something like this: "Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posy. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down." When Darrell Rohling of Woodbury was thinking of a title for his debut novel "Ashes, Ashes" he wanted something that almost everyone can relate to, but still made sense to what the story is all about. "I didn't want anything too sensational," he said.