Star News http://erstarnews.com The Star News covers community news, sports, current events and provides advertising and information for Elk River, Otsego, Rogers and Zimmerman, Minnesota and their surrounding areas. Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:28:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mille Lacs Band to suspend netting in 2016; Dayton listens to lake community’s concerns about Mille Lacs fishery http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/mille-lacs-band-to-suspend-netting-in-2016-dayton-listens-to-lake-communitys-concerns-about-mille-lacs-fishery/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/mille-lacs-band-to-suspend-netting-in-2016-dayton-listens-to-lake-communitys-concerns-about-mille-lacs-fishery/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:28:52 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=793037  

Gov. Mark Dayton listened to concerns of Lake Mille Lacs residents, business owners and sportsmen at Isle High School on Friday, July 31, 2015. Dayton wore a Lake Mille Lacs t-shirt presented to him by the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council. Jeffrey Hage / Mille Lacs County Times
Gov. Mark Dayton listened to concerns of Lake Mille Lacs residents, business owners and sportsmen at Isle High School on Friday, July 31, 2015. Dayton wore a Lake Mille Lacs t-shirt presented to him by the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Council.
Jeffrey Hage / Mille Lacs County Times

Jeffrey Hage

Times Editor

jeff.hage@ecm-inc.com

 

ISLE — The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe is doing its part to improve the health of the walleye population on Lake Mille Lacs.

Gov. Mark Dayton announced Friday, July 31, that the Band has agreed to forego netting for walleye on the lake in 2016. The announcement was made during a July 31 town meeting at Isle High School on the southeast corner of the lake. Dayton called the roundtable so he could personally address concerns of Lake Mille Lacs area resort owners, fishing guides, sportsmen, residents and business owners following a Minnesota DNR announcement July 21 that the lake was within 3,000 pounds of reaching its 2015 walleye harvest numbers and walleye fishing could be shut down for the year.

The news from Dayton drew a standing ovation from the estimated 300 people in attendance at the listening session.

Dayton told the crowd that about 20 minutes before the Isle meeting he had spoken with Melanie Benjamin, chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. He said she had met with Band elders, who made the decision to hold off on netting by tribal members in 2016, he said. He added that the decision only affects netting by the Mille Lacs Band, not the other seven tribes that have fishing rights on the lake because of an 1837 treaty.

The Band came forward with the offer, Dayton said. It was nothing that his office asked for. He was clear to point out that the move was not part of any “deal” that his office brokered.

“I did not ask for this. It came as a wonderful surprise,” Dayton said.

The Band issued a statement early Friday afternoon.

“The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe remains deeply committed to safeguarding the long-term health of Mille Lacs Lake and ensuring the region’s economy continues to grow and prosper, including businesses that rely on the lake.

“As Governor Dayton and legislative leaders develop a plan to help the region, the Mille Lacs Band will continue to promote the region through the DoTheLake campaign and other marketing efforts to drive additional tourism to the region. The Mille Lacs Band Department of Natural Resources and Environment will continue to work closely with the Minnesota DNR, the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission and other stakeholders to protect the lake for future generations.

“There are no quick solutions to fixing Mille Lacs Lake, but the Mille Lacs Band is committed to restoring the lake. Our people made our home here hundreds of years ago and we intend to preserve this lake for generations to come. We look forward to partnering with the Governor to support his efforts to address the immediate and long-term challenges of the region.”

Dayton’s visit to Isle came after representatives of the Mille Lacs Area Tourism Board visited the Governor’s office on Wednesday, July 29. That meeting came on the heels of a July 23 meeting at McQuoid’s Inn between DNR officials and members of the public to discuss the potential closing of the fishery.

Karen McQuoid, of Mac’s Twin Bay Resort, a member of the lake area tourism board, started the meeting off by recapping the July 29 meeting with Dayton in St. Paul. The group told the story of the “state of the lake” from the eyes of residents, business owners and launch captains.

“We explained that we are passionate about our Mille Lacs fishery and our businesses. Mille Lacs is not only a Minnesota treasure, it’s home to hundreds of families, family cabins, and a popular retirement destination,” McQuoid said.

“All of us want this fishery to survive,” she said.

The tourism group and Dayton discussed the impact on businesses and homeowners and disputed the DNR’s assessment that the lake is in a state of crisis, she said.

The group made a handful of requests to Dayton and his staff, McQuoid said, including keeping the walleye fishery open with catch and release for the remainder of the 2015 fishing season, keeping ice fishing open without catch and release this upcoming winter and to grant economic relief for the area. The group also asked for long-term solutions and no more Band-Aid fixes, McQuoid said.

Dayton said he fully supported those measures.

“We need to do what we can to save the lake and turn it around,” Dayton said during the one-hour town meeting.

Dayton said he was going to establish an advisory committee to help him tackle issues related to ensuring the health of the lake.

Over the past week Dayton said he has come to realize that the current state of Lake Mille Lacs is a “tragic, tragic situation” and that work on restoring the walleye population needs to start immediately.

“We need to restore the lake to its former glory,” Dayton said, noting that the lake was once one of the top walleye destinations in the nation. Just three years ago the walleye harvest on Mille Lacs was 500,000 pounds and in 2015 its just 40,000.

Dickie Gadbois, owner of Dickie’s on Mille Lacs, said the walleye are biting real good this year and suggested that the quota on walleye was being nearly met because of a food shortage.

“We should take boats out and drop minnows and feed these fish now,” Gadbois said.

Linda Eno, owner of Twin Pines Resort on Mille Lacs in Garrison, told Dayton that a declining fishery is a process those on the lake have been dealing with for 20 years. She faulted the DNR for implementing management plans that didn’t work and failing to change those plans.

“They’ve been asleep at the wheel,” Eno said.

Joe Fellegy, a former fishing guide, launch operator, son of Mille Lacs resort owners and a newspaper fishing columnist, told Dayton that 90 percent of fisherman who once fished the lake have been scared off by quotas, size limits and other DNR policy. “The negative impacts of public policy far outweigh the benefits,” he said.

He also said that Mille Lacs has suffered the biggest public relations fiasco in Minnesota fishing history.

“Mille Lacs Lives Matter,” Fellegy told Dayton. “The treaty fishery, Mille Lacs style, has to go,” he said.

Jim Derosa of Jim DeRosa’s Guide Service in Isle, said everyone in the school’s auditorium agrees on one thing – that Mille Lacs could be the best lake in Minnesota.

He noted that the most recent issue of BassMasters magazine ranked Mille Lacs as the 10th best bass lake in the United States.

“Take out large mouth only, and its No. 5,” he said.

DeRosa said he hopes the DNR manages the lake in a way that it looks at it as a world-class lake for bass and not a stop-gap fish to catch until the health of the walleye fishery improves.

He also invited Dayton to go out on his boat and fish the lake with him.

But Dayton warned Derosa that he was a fish repellent and DeRosa would be taking a big chance by going out with him.

“Besides, I would trade all the walleye in the world for one big muskie,” Dayton said kiddingly.

John Odell, owner of the Last Resort on the west side of Mille Lacs, reminded Dayton that the lives of people who reside and work on the lake depend on the decisions he will help make in the next few weeks. Odell said that he has already had 15 cancellations for August and September in the past two weeks.

Jack Dunn, who said he was a guide on the lake for 16 years, is now out of work because of the downturn of the lake.

“We need to work together like five fingers on a hand and bring back the lake. Then maybe I can come back to work,” he said.

 

 

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Karen M. Lade http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/karen-m-lade/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/karen-m-lade/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 22:28:44 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=793040 Karen Marie Lade passed away in Sarasota, Fla. on July 28, 2015 at the age of 72.
Karen is survived by her husband Cecil; daughter Lisa and Darrell Sanders; daughter Jocelyn and Erik Smith; step-daughter Deb and Steve Christian; step-daughter Colleen Lade; step-son Craig Lade.
Karen was born on January 27, 1943 in Dawson, Minn. to Arly and Marian Swanson. She and her husband enjoyed spending time with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, instilling love and appreciation for family and all the gifts life has to offer. She was a loving and protective mother. Her grandchildren were her pride and joy. Shopping, gardening and arts and crafts were the activities she cherished most.
A memorial is scheduled for 2 p.m. on August 15, 2015 at Eternity Church located at 12564 303rd Ave. NW, Princeton, with a reception to follow. Pastor Phil Larson will officiate the ceremony. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Karen's life.

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Retiring Boomers: Change http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/retiring-boomers-change/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/retiring-boomers-change/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 20:00:03 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?guid=9fdc6e34d7a3a76249641316efc0c55a Are you one of the largest generation in American history? Comfortable with how much you have saved for retirement? Comfort is one thing, reality another, and boomers may be running of time to work on the financial quality of post-work life.

A recent study from the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) surveyed 803 baby boomers ages 52 to 68 on expectations for retirement. I was shocked that the overall “economic satisfaction” for boomers dropped to a five-year low of 48%. I assume that the economic satisfaction they refer to equates to a financial comfort zone: enough savings and income for retirement.

Between 2011 and 2013, the satisfaction levels averaged 77% before falling to 65% in 2014. The numbers tanked 17 more percentage points this year, meaning that over half of America’s boomers are dissatisfied with their financial situation as they either prepare for or enter retirement.

Looking further, I found a glaring reason behind such gloom: As of this year, only five out of 10 boomer retirees surveyed have any savings, planning instead to rely completely on government benefits, pension income or both. About a third (34%) of respondents have $100,000 or more saved; only 19% maintain $250,000 or more saved for retirement.

According to my research for my book You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think, the tipping point for my happy retirees was $500,000 in liquid net worth (aka, retirement savings). Clearly, only a small fraction of boomers are at that point.

With such dismal nest eggs, what do all these retirees plan on for cash flow in the golden years? According to the IRI’s report, as of this year, half the boomers surveyed cited Social Security as a major expected source of income during retirement. Perhaps that’s why Get What’s Yours, a book on maximizing Social Security checks, holds a top spot on Amazon for retirement books.

While these statistics make me anxious, apparently boomers in general still aren’t worried about life after working. The study also gauged boomers’ retirement expectations compared with those of their parents and revealed that almost half those surveyed believed that financially they will be about as well off, even better off, than their parents in the later years.

About half also somehow imagined that enough dollars will remain in their retirement budget for basic expenses and some left over for travel and leisure. This tells me that too many boomers need a reality check.

The survey did contain some good news. The IRI looked into the retirement preparedness of boomers who work with financial advisors versus those who go at it alone. Those who worked with a financial advisor were almost twice as likely to have at least $100,000 saved.

Those who worked with an advisor seem more conscious of retirement savings. Another good rule of thumb I learned from my research: Spend at least five hours a year planning for your future retirement. Rather than guessing, ignoring or hoping your retirement will be better than your parents’, put in the time planning.

Ultimately, boomers need more realistic expectations for post-work life – and, if they don’t like that reality, a strategy to change their future. With that generation as with all others, it’s up to all of us individually to make retirement work.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Wes Moss, CFP, is the chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors and a partner at Wela, both in Atlanta. He hosts “Money Matters,” a live financial advice show on Atlanta’s News 95-5 and AM 750 WSB Radio. In 2015 and 2014 Barron’s Magazine named him as one of America’s top 1,200 Financial Advisors. His newly released book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think published by McGraw Hill, is available on Amazon, iTunes and at your local bookstore.

Wes writes weekly about personal finance in the “Bargain Hunter Section” for AJC.com, the site of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wes is also the editor and writer for About.com’s Personal Finance blog. Connect with Wes on Twitter at @WesMoss365 and on Facebook at Wes Moss Money Matters. You can also visit his website, WesMoss.com to learn more about Wes, and take his complimentary Money and Happiness Quiz.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 
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Are you one of the largest generation in American history? Comfortable with how much you have saved for retirement? Comfort is one thing, reality another, and boomers may be running of time to work on the financial quality of post-work life.

A recent study from the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) surveyed 803 baby boomers ages 52 to 68 on expectations for retirement. I was shocked that the overall “economic satisfaction” for boomers dropped to a five-year low of 48%. I assume that the economic satisfaction they refer to equates to a financial comfort zone: enough savings and income for retirement.

Between 2011 and 2013, the satisfaction levels averaged 77% before falling to 65% in 2014. The numbers tanked 17 more percentage points this year, meaning that over half of America’s boomers are dissatisfied with their financial situation as they either prepare for or enter retirement.

Looking further, I found a glaring reason behind such gloom: As of this year, only five out of 10 boomer retirees surveyed have any savings, planning instead to rely completely on government benefits, pension income or both. About a third (34%) of respondents have $100,000 or more saved; only 19% maintain $250,000 or more saved for retirement.

According to my research for my book You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think, the tipping point for my happy retirees was $500,000 in liquid net worth (aka, retirement savings). Clearly, only a small fraction of boomers are at that point.

With such dismal nest eggs, what do all these retirees plan on for cash flow in the golden years? According to the IRI’s report, as of this year, half the boomers surveyed cited Social Security as a major expected source of income during retirement. Perhaps that’s why Get What’s Yours, a book on maximizing Social Security checks, holds a top spot on Amazon for retirement books.

While these statistics make me anxious, apparently boomers in general still aren’t worried about life after working. The study also gauged boomers’ retirement expectations compared with those of their parents and revealed that almost half those surveyed believed that financially they will be about as well off, even better off, than their parents in the later years.

About half also somehow imagined that enough dollars will remain in their retirement budget for basic expenses and some left over for travel and leisure. This tells me that too many boomers need a reality check.

The survey did contain some good news. The IRI looked into the retirement preparedness of boomers who work with financial advisors versus those who go at it alone. Those who worked with a financial advisor were almost twice as likely to have at least $100,000 saved.

Those who worked with an advisor seem more conscious of retirement savings. Another good rule of thumb I learned from my research: Spend at least five hours a year planning for your future retirement. Rather than guessing, ignoring or hoping your retirement will be better than your parents’, put in the time planning.

Ultimately, boomers need more realistic expectations for post-work life – and, if they don’t like that reality, a strategy to change their future. With that generation as with all others, it’s up to all of us individually to make retirement work.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Wes Moss, CFP, is the chief investment strategist for Capital Investment Advisors and a partner at Wela, both in Atlanta. He hosts “Money Matters,” a live financial advice show on Atlanta’s News 95-5 and AM 750 WSB Radio. In 2015 and 2014 Barron’s Magazine named him as one of America’s top 1,200 Financial Advisors. His newly released book, You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think published by McGraw Hill, is available on Amazon, iTunes and at your local bookstore.

Wes writes weekly about personal finance in the “Bargain Hunter Section” for AJC.com, the site of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Wes is also the editor and writer for About.com’s Personal Finance blog. Connect with Wes on Twitter at @WesMoss365 and on Facebook at Wes Moss Money Matters. You can also visit his website, WesMoss.com to learn more about Wes, and take his complimentary Money and Happiness Quiz.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

 
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Mainstreams: Shy kid climbs her way to theater production http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/mainstreams-shy-kid-climbs-her-way-to-stepping-stone-theatres-production-of-jack-and-the-giant-bean-stalk/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/mainstreams-shy-kid-climbs-her-way-to-stepping-stone-theatres-production-of-jack-and-the-giant-bean-stalk/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:36:01 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=793021 by Sue Austreng

ECM Publishers

A shy kid and not one to make a scene, Shelby Swenson never imagined taking center stage. She preferred to blend in with the crowd, content to be a wall flower observing others’ antics and happily taking it all in.

Photo by Linda Swenson Shelby Swenson, a 15-year-old resident of Ramsey, plays the role of the Harp Lady in Stepping Stone Theatre’s production of “Jack and the Giant Bean Stalk.”
Photo by Linda Swenson
Shelby Swenson, a 15-year-old resident of Ramsey, plays the role of the Harp Lady in Stepping Stone Theatre’s production of “Jack and the Giant Bean Stalk.”

And then, her mom talked her in to singing with a performance choir, which led to auditions for family and community theater productions, which led to rehearsals and performance and a life at center stage.

Most recently, the 15-year-old Ramsey resident has been cast as the Harp Lady in Stepping Stone Theatre’s summer production of “Jack and the Giant Bean Stalk.”

“I just never thought I would ever do anything like this, but I love it and want to do more,” Shelby said.

Her mother, Linda Swenson, has taken a keen interest in her daughter’s evolution as an actress.

“She’s always been quiet and still is, but when she got her first starring role and got compliments and applause, her confidence really grew. She’s definitely come out of her shell,” Swenson said.

As Shakespeare said so long ago, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players.”

Photos courtesy of Shelby Swenson Appearing on stage for her debut performance, Shelby Swenson played Danni Who, Cindy Loo Who’s little sister in North Star Family Theatre’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”
Photos courtesy of Shelby Swenson
Appearing on stage for her debut performance, Shelby Swenson played Danni Who, Cindy Loo Who’s little sister in North Star Family Theatre’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

Now Shelby has reimagined her role on that stage.

“It’s been life-changing for me,” she said. “It’s something I always want to do now and I plan to go to college for musical theater,” said the straight-A sophomore who will attend Elk River High School in the fall.

For now, she’s inhabiting the role of Harp Lady in Stepping Stone’s “Jack and the Giant Bean Stalk,” a reimagination of the beloved fairy tale.

In the play, written by Linda Daugherty and with original music and song composed by Stephen Houtz, the audience sees what happens after Jack climbs that giant bean stalk into the sky.

Playing the part of Annie meant Shelby Swenson got in the act with a furry four-legged member of the troupe when Elk River Community Theatre did “Little Orphan Annie.”
Playing the part of Annie meant Shelby Swenson got in the act with a furry four-legged member of the troupe when Elk River Community Theatre did “Little Orphan Annie.”

The musical production tells the tale of a giant who has a wife (who really is tired of her husband’s fe-fi-fo-fumming), the chicken that lays golden eggs and has anxiety issues and the guitar in the corner that’s singing for its life.

And what about Jack’s father – the blue-eyed man who was lost at sea? Rumor has it there’s a captive in the giant’s dungeon. Could that be him?

As for her part in the play, Shelby called the Harp Lady a “sassy drama queen diva” who soothes the giant by singing and playing the harp as Jack comes to rescue her from the giant’s control.

Shelby Swenson played the role of Alice in North Star Family Theatre’s production of “Alice in Wonderland.”
Shelby Swenson played the role of Alice in North Star Family Theatre’s production of “Alice in Wonderland.”

“It’s fun to play her. I worked with it, played with it until I found something I thought would work the best for the character. And it seems to be working. I’m having a great time with it,” Shelby said.

Shelby counts Ordway’s production of “Wicked” and the “Lion King” as among her favorite musicals but said her favorite one of all time is “Chicago.”

“I just loved all the dance, the story line, the songs. That’s my absolute favorite,” she said.

Her mother agrees that taking the giant theatrical step to perform with Stepping Stone Theatre has been a histrionic step for Shelby, to be sure.

As Dorothy in Elk River Community Theatre’s production of “The Wizard of Oz” Shelby Swenson took the stage in the first big role of her fledgling acting career.
As Dorothy in Elk River Community Theatre’s production of “The Wizard of Oz” Shelby Swenson took the stage in the first big role of her fledgling acting career.

“I am just so proud of her. This has been really so much fun to watch and she’s having so much fun. She just loves it,” Swenson said.

Shelby’s greatest dream is to perform on Broadway, she said, but for now she’s happy to make her mark on local stages.

“Jack and the Giant Bean Stalk” opened July 11 and runs through Aug. 2. For dates, times and tickets, visit SteppingStoneTheatre.org or call 651-225-9265.

The theatre is located at 55 Victoria St. N, St. Paul.

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Parks champion Anderson wins national award http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/parks-champion-anderson-wins-national-award/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/parks-champion-anderson-wins-national-award/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:17:55 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=792886 by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

Dave Anderson has won a national award for his volunteer work with Elk River’s park system.

He has been named the Robert M. Artz Citizen Advocacy Award winner by the National Recreation and Park Association. The award will be presented in September in Las Vegas.

Dave Anderson, flanked by Elk River City Council Members Jerry Olsen and Jennifer Wagner, listened to Mayor John Dietz speak at the dedication of the Dave Anderson Athletic Complex in June.
Dave Anderson, flanked by Elk River City Council Members Jerry Olsen and Jennifer Wagner, listened to Mayor John Dietz speak at the dedication of the Dave Anderson Athletic Complex in June.

The award recognizes a person who has demonstrated outstanding efforts to forward public parks and recreation through education and activating the public.

Anderson has served on the Elk River Parks and Recreation Commission since 1987, including 17 years as chair, and volunteers hundreds of hours per year in park-related activities.

Elk River Parks and Recreation Director Michael Hecker called Anderson’s contributions “tremendous and unparalleled.” He said the award is the most prestigious parks and recreation national award that can be given to a citizen volunteer or appointed official.

Anderson said this award says as much about Elk River as it does about him, as the community has had forward-thinking leaders who have appreciated the value of developing a park and recreation system. The city is also home to many volunteers who have helped. Anderson said he has worked with hundreds of them over the years.

“Every single time that I’ve needed somebody or a group of people, whether it’s to build a building at the ball fields, put up lights or build trails, those people are always there,” he said. “It says a lot about the people of this community.”

Hecker said Anderson’s passion, leadership and advocacy have been instrumental in growing the park system from just a handful of parks in the 1980s to 44 parks with more than 1,300 acres of park and conservation land today.

Anderson volunteers 15 to 20 hours a week — between 500 and 1,000 hours per year — to the city’s park system. He leads a large volunteer network of residents who have built playfields and continue to maintain trails and more than 700 acres of prairie and woods, Hecker said.

Anderson also works with Eagle Scouts; several park projects are currently in the works and range from shoreline restoration at Bailey Point Nature Preserve to building a scenic overlook by Rice Lake at the north end of the Great Northern Trail.

“Dave’s passion for youth activities, his efforts to preserve natural prairie and woodlands and his vision for Elk River’s comprehensive park system have left a legacy for future generations,” Hecker said.

Barbara Tulipane, president and CEO of the National Recreation and Park Association, said the award honors the nation’s park and recreation heroes —agencies and individuals who work tirelessly and with passion to improve people’s lives and make their communities great.

Early on, Anderson said he got interested in volunteering with the park system when his son was skiing in the late 1980s. The only places to cross-country ski in the area at that time were golf courses and lakes.

“We asked the city if we could build trails in Woodland Trails (Park),” Anderson said. The city agreed, and volunteers built a trail system that now is 9 miles in length.

The acquisition and development of Woodland Trails Park is one of Anderson’s favorite projects. The park was initially about 160 acres in size. Over two decades, four additional pieces of land were acquired to make Woodland Trails the 340-acre park it is today.

“It’s one piece at a time and there we sit with an incredible resource right in the middle of the community that will always be there,” Anderson said. “It’s one of the greatest winter recreation destinations in the metro area and it’s here, and it was done by volunteers. But we couldn’t do it without the city stepping up and acquiring the land.”

An Elk River park survey done last year found that Woodland Trails Park, located at 20135 Elk Lake Road, is the most used facility in the Elk River park system. The Great Northern Trail, which was built on an abandoned railroad bed, runs through the park.

Looking back over his years of park involvement, Anderson is also pleased about the Houlton Farm in Elk River becoming a conservation area. That deal gelled at the end of last year.

“Houlton is unhatched,” Anderson said. “That’s going to be the greatest thing for somebody else when that is done.”

Hockey Day Minnesota was the most intense park and recreation  project he’s been involved in, he said, but it only lasted for nine months. Anderson co-chaired the facilities committee with Elk River Council Member Matt Westgaard.

The ball fields near Orono Park that are named after Anderson — the Dave Anderson Athletic Complex — reflect a passion of his at the time they were developed, he said.

The Elk River City Council voted last year to name the fields after Anderson, who was instrumental in an effort to develop the fields that spanned 17 years. Numerous volunteers made it possible, Anderson said, adding: “My name’s on the sign, but it was built by a community.”

Anderson said everybody has a talent, and he believes his strong suits are organizing and advocating.

“When you see something that you think needs to be done, you need to stand up and say it,” he said. “You need to take your lumps when people disagree with you. We’ve taken our lumps over the years. But the successes far outweigh the lumps and that’s why I do what I do. I didn’t do it to be the best of the best. I did it so Elk River would be the best, and what I think is important in Elk River would be the best.”

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‘Wizard’ has but three more appearances http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/wizard-has-but-two-more-appearances/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/wizard-has-but-two-more-appearances/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 19:15:20 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=793011 Elk River area theater-goers have a few more chances to see the Wizard.

There won’t be a yellow brick road to Zabee Theater, but North Star Family Theatre will present the last of seven performances of “The Wizard of Oz.”

Submitted photo by Stefany Janish Katelyn Kolyer plays Dorothy Gale, of Kansas, in North Star Theatre’s production of “The Wizard of Oz,” with shows this weekend at Zabee Theater.
Submitted photo by Stefany Janish
Katelyn Kolyer plays Dorothy Gale, of Kansas, in North Star Theatre’s production of “The Wizard of Oz,” with shows this weekend at Zabee Theater.

The cast has a performance tonight at 7 p.m. on July 31, and there are two shows remaining. They are a 7 p.m. showing Saturday (Aug. 1)  and then a 2 p.m. final showing Sunday on Aug. 2.

Fans of the classic tale are invited to come see Dorothy and her friends, the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, as they journey through Oz to get Dorothy safely home to her farm in Kansas.

Tickets for “The Wizard of Oz” are available at nstartheatre.org or at the door and cost $17 for adults and $12 for children.

For more on the the play, click here.

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Game Fair in its 34th rendition coming up in Ramsey http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/game-fair-in-its-34th-rendition-coming-up-in-ramsey/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/game-fair-in-its-34th-rendition-coming-up-in-ramsey/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:39:11 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=793008 by Eric Hagen

ECM Publishers

The Game Fair is on for Aug. 7-9, 14-16, at the Armstrong Kennel Ranch in Ramsey.

The fair highlights the skills of amateur sharpshooters and dog trainers along with professional exhibitors. Close to 300 vendors from 28 states will be selling anything an outdoors enthusiast needs, including firearms, camouflage, fishing poles, watercraft, duck callers and much more. There are also vendors selling outdoors-themed home decor.

ECM Publishers file photo There are several dog competitions happening at the Game Fair, held Aug. 7-9 and 14-16, at Armstrong Kennel Ranch in Ramsey.
ECM Publishers file photo
There are several dog competitions happening at the Game Fair, held Aug. 7-9 and 14-16, at Armstrong Kennel Ranch in Ramsey.

Seminars will be held to learn more from experts about duck calling, dog training, shooting, falcons and more.

In recent years, more than 40,000 people are typically drawn to the ranch at 8404 161st Ave. NW for the six-day Game Fair, which is now in its 34th year.

Parking is available on 161st Avenue west of Armstrong Boulevard and at Ramsey Central Park. The Ramsey Lions Club runs a shuttle bus from the park.

Attendees should keep in mind that Armstrong Boulevard has no access to Highway 10 at this point because of the interchange construction project. If heading west on Highway 10, turn right on Ramsey Boulevard, left at Bunker Lake Boulevard and then right on Armstrong Boulevard. If heading east on Highway 10, turn left at Alpine Drive, right at Puma Street, left on Bunker Lake Boulevard and left on Armstrong Boulevard.

Admission fees are $12 for adults, $8 for senior citizens ages 62 and older and $5 for children ages 6-14. Children under the age of 6 get in for free. On Fridays, children accompanied by a paying adult get in for free.

Hours of the Game Fair are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

Dog competitions are always a popular draw both for the dog owners and spectators. Small and large dogs are split in different divisions for the long jump test to see how far they can leap off the end of a dock into the lake. Other events include an obstacle course, scurry, decoy recovery, shed hunting, pointer event, “swim to win” and “splash for cash.” It only costs $1 to register for a dog event and $2 for the pointer event.

There is no cost just to bring a dog to the Game Fair, but it must be on a leash when not competing.

In the fourth annual duck and goose calling contest, $10,000 is up for grabs.

The archery contest in its fourth year has a challenge of trying to pop a balloon with an arrow from 100 yards away. Those who achieve this feat are eligible for the final round, with the grand prize being $1,000.

A new event will be a carp shooting contest in which contestants will shoot bows provided to them at targets, but not real fish. The grand prize is $500 cash and a bowfishing trip for four.

The Gould Brothers will be making a return trip to the Game Fair to show off their sharpshooting skills, firing at clay targets and produce. The shows will be all six days at 11:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.

To find out more information, visit www.gamefair.com. A visit to the site will also reveal a $2 coupon for the entry fee.

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Enstrom: ‘Calling all disabled vets’ to fish http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/enstrom-calling-all-disabled-vets-to-fish/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/enstrom-calling-all-disabled-vets-to-fish/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:18:28 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=792984 John Enstrom, the architect behind Veterans Lake in Ramsey, dreams big.

This time around he’s reaching out to disabled veterans to host a day of fishing and a shore lunch. He’s inviting Purple Heart veterans who may be wheelchair-bound and hospitalized at a VA hospital in Minneapolis or St. Cloud. He also wants to reach those combat-wounded veterans who are isolated at home in towns across Central  Minnesota like Elk River, Big Lake and Becker.

The Minneapolis and St. Cloud Veterans Affairs hospitals plan to send 50. Enstrom would rather they tap the shoulders of 150 to 200 or better yet let him and his organizing committee personally invite them.

Standing in his way and their way, however, are medical privacy laws and a belief by some that veterans battling post-traumatic stress disorders, addictions and other challenges are better off in treatment than getting a day out at a lake built for them with a complimentary dinner of fresh fish, corn on the cob and sliced watermelon served to them.

“We even offered a bus to get them here,” Enstrom said.

Instead, they must rely on word of mouth and a newspaper article or two to pull this off. It shouldn’t be this hard to lend veterans a hand. But as word travels, Enstrom’s phone lights up occasionally with veterans or the families they have left behind thanking him and promising to be there for the event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 5 at Veterans Lake.

“They all have a story,” Enstrom said. “I just want these fellows to learn there’s something more to life for them than what they have now. I want to get their eyes off their boot tops and looking forward so we can shake their hand and show them a good time.”

Enstrom, who has military displays year-round at Veterans Lake and hosts an annual flag retirement ceremony for Flag Day, is working with volunteers from the Elk River area and beyond.

Veterans Lake is located at 8102 181st Ave. NW, and there’s already an the alternate date of Aug. 6 established in case of inclement weather on Aug. 5.

This event is not open to the general public. Only disabled veterans who register ahead of time will be able to fish. Enstrom wants every disabled veteran to have a fishing pole and tackle. If you know a disabled veteran who could use a day out at the lake, reach out to them and help make it happen.

Enstrom hosted a similar fishing tournament in 2007. With the fishing being really good this year on this 22-acre lake, Enstrom and other friends decided to reach out to their contacts at the VA hospitals in Minneapolis and St. Cloud to invite disabled veterans to fish for the day.

Many of the veterans who came in 2007 suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and were dealing with alcohol and drug addictions in addition to their physical and mental scars.

“For these guys who are lifers at the VA, this will be their vacation day for the summer,” Enstrom told ABC Newspapers.

The Ramsey man and his foot soldiers have been gathering volunteers so fish can be caught along the shore and in boats out on the lake. Volunteers are being sought to clean and filet fish that are caught and to be fishing guides.

There will be prizes for the biggest fish caught. Fishing poles and tackle will be provided.

For those veterans not interested in fishing, there will be card games, horseshoes and corn bag toss games.

To volunteer for this event or share the name of a disabled veteran who would be interested in fishing on the lake Aug. 5, call Enstrom at 763-441-4086. More information can be found at the Minnesota Veterans Lake Facebook page or at www.veteranslake.com. – Jim Boyle, editor 

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Conservation officer candidate has local tie http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/conservation-officer-candidate-has-local-tie/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/conservation-officer-candidate-has-local-tie/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:16:39 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=792981 A former Sherburne County correctional officer is one of 15 Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer candidates undergoing training.

Shane Vernier worked as a police officer for the city of St. Joseph and as a correctional officer for the Sherburne County Sheriff’s Office.

He and 14 others are attending the 12-week Conservation Officer Academy at Camp Ripley.

The academy curriculum includes training in fish and wildlife laws, rules of evidence, patrol procedures, search and rescue, and fish and wildlife investigation. After graduation, the new officers will spend 16 weeks in field training assigned to veteran conservation officers who tutor them with hands-on training.

This is the 16th class of candidates since academy training began at Camp Ripley in 1994.

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Refuge hosts moth program on Aug. 14 http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/refuge-hosts-moth-program-on-aug-14/ http://erstarnews.com/2015/07/31/refuge-hosts-moth-program-on-aug-14/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:13:21 +0000 http://erstarnews.com/?p=792977 Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge will host a moth program from 8-11:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14.

Moth lifestyles, behaviors and ecological importance will be discussed by local author Jim Sogaard during An Evening With Moths. Sogaard is the author of “Moths & Caterpillars of the North Woods.”

The program is free, but people are asked to preregister by calling 763-389-3323, ext. 10 or emailing sherburne @fws.gov.

Meet at the refuge headquarters on County Road 9, 5 miles west of Highway 169. For directions, go to www.fws.gov/refuge/sherburne.

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