Local Views: State of the Stillwater School District

I’ve done a lot of reflecting over the past couple of months about the state of our School  District. Where we’ve been, where we are now, and what’s ahead. Our schools have been closed, friendships have been damaged, the community has changed, children and parents have been hurt. The roller coaster that has been our district for the past two years, has changed me personally. I have spoken up and found a voice in me I knew was there, but maybe was hidden for a while. Continue Reading →

Local Views: Something is Missing this Veterans Day in Minnesota

Want to go beyond thanking veterans for their service this Veterans Day and do something more to recognize the service of Minnesota’s veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Did you know that Minnesota recognized its veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War with veterans  bonuses, but Minnesota is yet to recognize its Afghanistan and Iraq vets with this same type of bonus? So how do we fix this? It’s pretty easy. All we need is one Minnesota state legislator to author a bill in the 2018 legislative session to provide for this bonus. Continue Reading →

Patriots Tavern Closes for Repairs After Early Morning Fire

An early morning fire damaged the Patriots Tavern on Sunday. No injuries were reported, but the restaurant will be closed for a few days while repairs are made, according the Patriots Tavern Facebook page. “Friends we will unfortunately be closed for a couple of days due to an outside fire at the restaurant. It happened after hours and no one was harmed thankfully. The linen & towel storage bin caught fire and damaged our walk-in cooler amongst a few other minor things. Continue Reading →

Lost Cat

Lost Cat

$100 Reward if found and returned

• Male (Neutered) Tabby Cat

• Tan/Orangish Color

• Name: TJ

• Went missing on October 5th

• Please Call 651-430-9278 or 651-315-0302 with any information

• TJ’s home is 4860 Normandale Ct N – Stillwater- that is where he was last seen

*****TJ required prescription medication so please help find him ASAP

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR HELP! Continue Reading →

Stillwater Schools Will Investigate a Complaint Filed Against 2 School Board Members

The Stillwater Area Public Schools Board of Education approved a motion to investigate a complaint filed by a district employee against two Board members during a closed meeting this week. A complaint was filed against Board Members Sarah Stivland and Mike Ptacek, Stillwater Area Schools Executive Director of Administrative Services Cathy Moen confirmed in an email this week. Both Stivland and Ptacek have been vocal critics of the School Board’s decision to close three elementary schools. Stivland was elected to her seat on the Board last November. Ptacek has served on the Stillwater Area Public Schools Board of Education since November 2008. Continue Reading →

Local Views Counterpoint: ‘Comparing Apples to Oranges’

Dr. Zis Weisberg’s September 18, 2017 opinion piece in the Stillwater Current provides enough tosspottery for a week long seminar on political dishonesty and deception. For now, let’s start with his false claim that something was amiss in Stillwater Area Schools paying its financial advisor, RW Baird, $115,000 for work on a “competitive” sale bond issue, compared to the Sartell (Sartell-St. Stephen) School District paying its financial advisor, PMA, about $10,000 for work on a “negotiated” sale bond issue. The two companies did completely different types and amounts of work on two different types of debt sales. The types of work that must be completed on the two types of sales are not identical. Continue Reading →

Local Views Counterpoint: ‘We Got Value, Without Cronyism’

Let’s dissect the central theme of Zis Weisberg’s 9/18 Local Views column: “We deserve the best possible value for the dollar, not cronyism.”

First, the dictionary definition of “cronyism” is “the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, WITHOUT REGARD TO THEIR QUALIFICATIONS” (emphasis added). Is Weisberg claiming that BWBR, the architectural firm, and Baird, the financial services firm, are not qualified to do the work they were contracted to do? BWBR is one of the Upper Midwest’s oldest and largest design solutions firms and is consistently ranked in the top five architectural firms in the region. They have been working with the district for more than 20 years going back to Rutherford Elementary and, more recently, the ECFC. In addition to education, BWBR regularly handles multi-million dollar projects for the Mayo Clinic and Fortune 500 companies like 3M. Continue Reading →

Local Views: ‘We deserve the best possible value for the dollar, not cronyism’

Who is 834VOICE? According to a letter published in the Stillwater Gazette Aug. 12 by Mr. Blondin, we’re a “dark money group funded by hidden political agents.”

Mr. Blondin asked, “who are the special interests out to harm public education in our community by funding 834VOICE?”

He also attacked my credibility. These attacks are nothing more than a disingenuous attempt to divert attention away from district wrong-doing. This same strategy is being used by the District’s legal team instead of addressing serious allegations. Continue Reading →

Police Investigating Armed Robbery at US Bank in Downtown Stillwater

Stillwater Police are investigating an armed robbery that happened at an ATM at US Bank, 213 E. Chestnut St., in downtown Stillwater just before noon on Sunday. At about 11:50 a.m., a Stillwater Township woman was robbed at gunpoint in the lobby of US Bank with what appeared to be a semi-automatic hand gun, Stillwater Police Sgt. Jeff Stender said. The suspect is described as a white man who was about 6 feet tall, with a slender build, wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, sunglasses and green shorts, possibly with a camouflage print, according to police. The man was initially seen fleeing the area on foot, before getting into a silver, early-90s model Ford Focus. Continue Reading →

Stillwater’s Polka Street Dance to Celebrate Lift Bridge Closure is Saturday

The city of Stillwater and the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce are hosting a street dance downtown on Saturday to celebrate — and commemorate — the closure of the historic Lift Bridge. The street dance — Saturday, Aug. 12 from 5- 10 p.m. — will feature music by the Alpensterne Polka Band, food trucks and a beer tent. The polka dance is a nod to the 1931 opening of the Stillwater Lift Bridge, and the popular polka dance that was part of Lumberjack Days. The city will close Chestnut Street from Main Street for the street dance. Continue Reading →

St. Croix River Crossing Opens at 8 p.m.

The St. Croix River Crossing will open to traffic at 8 p.m. today, Gov. Mark Dayton announced at a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning. Three MnDOT vehicles will be the first to cross, Kevin Gutknecht, an agency spokesman told the Pioneer Press. Mark Desch, a longtime Stillwater business owner and classic-car collector, will be the last to cross the Stillwater Lift Bridge driving his 1931 Stutz DV-32 Convertible Sedan. The city of Stillwater will commemorate the official closing of the Lift Bridge with the Cruisin’ to Closure event beginning at at 6 p.m. in Lowell Park. Continue Reading →

End of an Era: 411 on Today’s Events for Closing Down the Stillwater Lift Bridge, and Opening of St. Croix River Crossing

 

Stillwater will celebrating the opening of the St. Croix River Crossing today, while commemorating the closing of the historic Lift Bridge. The ribbon cutting for the St. Croix River Crossing is set for 10 a.m. on the west end of the new bridge. Public parking will not be available at the site of the ribbon cutting; however, parking at nearby locations on both the Minnesota and Wisconsin sides has been identified and shuttles will be provided to get to the location of the dedication. Continue Reading →

Highway 243 Bridge Over St. Croix River Closed for Emergency Repairs

The Minnesota Department of Transportation closed the Highway 243 bridge between Franconia Township and Osceola this afternoon after a hole was discovered in the deck. MnDOT bridge maintenance staff are on the scene and are assessing bridge damage. It will remain closed through the weekend until repairs are made. Motorists are encouraged to use alternate routes to reach their destinations. It is recommended that travelers use the Highway 8 bridge at Taylors Falls/St. Continue Reading →

Lumberjack Days Friday Schedule: Lumberjack Shows, Down Hill Derby, Crankshaft and HALEY

Stillwater Lumberjack Days 2017 is on. The vendor market, activities and the Lumberkids area open at 10 a.m. Friday. The Shackletons, Porcupine, Crankshaft and HALEY close out the night on the main stage. Here’s a look at Friday’s schedule:

11 a.m.-6 p.m. — Helicopter Rides (Riverside Park – just South along the trail)

Noon-6 p.m. — Pontoon and Gondola Rides ($5 each)

1-4 p.m. — Bingo in the Park (Beer Garden)

1 p.m. — Reading of 2nd Clue for the Medallion Hunt at the Warden’s House Museum

2-5 p.m. — Lumberjack Days Down Hill Derby on 2nd Street

4-7- p.m. — Lumberjack Demonstrations

Live Music:

Michelle Katz: National Anthem 5
 p.m.

The Shackletons 5-6 p.m.

Porcupine 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Crankshaft 8-9:15 p.m.

HALEY 9:45-11 p.m.

Continue Reading →