William Loeffler is a playwright and journalist from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He worked 15 years writing features for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. He has also written travel stories based on his trips to all seven continents. He and his wife, Michelle, ran the Boston Marathon in 2009.
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Woodbury Seniors should get out and vote, said the woman who turns 95 on election day. In addition to being a World War II veteran, great-grandmother and painter, Helen Miller writes the "Helen's Corner" blog on Face Aging MN, a website dedicated to issues of aging. "I'm an advocate for seniors and for quality of life for seniors," said Miller, a resident at Woodbury Senior Living. With 60,000 Minnesotans expected to turn 65 every year until 2030, seniors will wield increased political power, she said. It's important not to waste it.
Cottage Grove A herd of goats opened a two-week residency at Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park Oct. 24. Their destination: a hilly 3-acre parcel on the north end of the park, where invasive buckthorn is choking native oaks, aspens and box elders. Their mission: turn the acreage into their own giant salad bar. Their visit is part of a pilot program launched by Washington County Parks to clear non-native plants and noxious weeds without using heavy equipment or herbicides.
Lisa Weik is running unopposed for her District 5 seat, but the county commissioner said she isn't taking anything for granted. Weik said she's been out knocking on doors to learn what's on the minds of voters in her district. "I like to touch base directly with people," she said. "I don't like to seem complacent."
Gary Kriesel • Age: 73 • City of residence: Stillwater • Years lived in district: 53 years • Education: Stillwater High School; St. Paul Vocational Technical Institute, apprenticeship program • Occupation: County commissioner, District 3; retired senior area specialist, Northern States Power, 33 years; U.S. Navy Veteran.
David Beaudet • Age: 63 • City of residence: Oak Park Heights • Education: Stillwater Area High School, Metropolitan State University • Occupation: Retired from manufacturing management
When it comes to staging the musical version of a Disney animated movie classic, it pays not to tread (water) too lightly, said the director of the fall musical at East Ridge High School. This is no mere maid, after all - the Disney animated version of the Hans Christian Andersen story is beloved by generations. But too much reverence can be stifling. The challenge is to stay true to the story while avoiding a slavish recreation of the movie, said Amanda Hestwood, an English teacher who will be directing the show at East Ridge.
The Quilted Treasures Quilt Show last weekend turned the gym at Lake Middle School into a fantasia of fabric. The quilts on display were too splendiferous to serve as mere bedwarmers or couch covers. This was, as Shakespeare wrote, "beauty too rich for use."
Stan Karwoski • Age: 59 • City of residence: Oakdale • Years lived in district: 29 • Education: Northeast Metro Technical College, design degree; Metropolitan State University, BA business management • Occupation: Mayor of Oakdale; Graco Inc., 38-year employee, principal designer, retired 2016
Cheryl Anderson • Age: 56 • City of residence: Birchwood Village • Years lived in district: 16 • Education: Bachelor's of arts and licensed social worker in Minnesota • Occupation: Administrator/owner of Social Service Solutions Inc.
A $135,000 grant from the Counties Transit Improvement Board will pay for the planning of two proposed transit station areas in Cottage Grove and one in St. Paul Park. At their Oct. 18 meeting, the Washington County Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution requesting the funds from CTIB, a joint-powers board comprising Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties. The transit areas will be part of the Red Rock transit corridor, a 30-mile bus-rapid transit route that will run in both directions from Hastings to Union Depot in St. Paul.