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2018 Stillwater Area Baseball Association Player of the Week Awards: April 29

Every week this baseball season, we will announce Stillwater Area Baseball Weekly Award Winners here on Stillwater Current. Here’s our weekly award winners for the week of April 29 to May 5. Every week this baseball season, we will announce Stillwater Area Baseball Weekly Award Winners here on Stillwater Current. Here’s our weekly award winners for the week of April 30 to May 6. The Stillwater Motors Players of the Week goes to Tanner Voight and Jacob Carlson, who sold MoneyBall tickets on behalf of two other teams to ensure that SABA told all available raffle tickets for the 14U special event. Continue Reading →

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Local Views: Stillwater School Board Should Focus on Teacher-Student Experience, Not Buildings and Real Estate

Public education is its own unique business, but as a physician, I can’t help but compare it to healthcare. In many ways, education and healthcare are similar.  Students and families are consumers for education services. Patients are consumers for healthcare services. The key element in education is the interaction between teacher and student. In healthcare it’s the provider-patient relationship. Continue Reading →

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Stillwater Seeks Public Input Using Polco

The City of Stillwater is using Polco, an innovative engagement platform where residents can have input into the community decision-making process. By increasing civic engagement through web-based polling, there is an opportunity to meet Stillwater residents where they are. Stillwater’s rollout of Polco will focus on elements of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. The City will release Polco questions focusing on perceptions of public safety, community quality of life, performance of local government, taxes and more. This is an opportunity to let the City know what is valued most, what may need to be improved, and what opportunities there are for the future. Continue Reading →

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Local Views: On ‘Misconduct by Ptacek and Stivland’

Attorney Kristi Hastings, hired to investigate the alleged misconduct of school board members Michael Ptacek and Sarah Stivland, found that Ptacek and Stivland acted in violation of this District’s Respectful Behavior Policy, and Board Governance Process. Dr. Ptacek made a series of public statements about a District employee. Attorney Hastings found that:

1. When asked a question by the press, instead of making a straight-forward and honest statement, Ptacek asked a rhetorical question crafted to cause people to read between the lines and assume that someone (the District employee) had done something improper. 2. Continue Reading →

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Talk of the District: More than 8,000 reasons “Why”

Let’s face it. We all have days when the alarm clock goes off and we just do not want to crawl out from under those covers. So when that feeling kicks in, what is it that motivates us to fight off the desire to fall back asleep? What is the “why” that gets us going each day? I posed this question to the staff of the Stillwater Area Public Schools at the start of this school year. Continue Reading →

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River Valley Athletic Club Announces New Ownership

The River Valley Athletic Club announced new owners and a new look to ring in 2018. Longtime Stillwater resident and entrepreneur, Dave Najarian and his family are the new owners of River Valley Athletic Club. Najarian purchased the club from previous owner Summer Kuehn. The Najarian family also owns Nelson’s Ice Cream and the Lion’s Tavern in downtown Stillwater. Najarian and his family have been residents of the Stillwater area for 17 years, and club members of River Valley for more than 10 years. Continue Reading →

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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 →

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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 →

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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


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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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Stillwater Baseball Announces Player of the Week Awards

Every week this baseball season, we will announce Stillwater Area Baseball Weekly Award Winners here on Stillwater Current. Here’s our weekly award winners for the week of April 30 to May 6. The Dave’s Sport Shop Hitter of the Week is Tanner Kahn. Tanner, 11, had 6 at bats (ABs) last week and went 4-4 with 2 walks (BBs). The Pitcher of the Week is Owen Leister —also 11 yrs old— who pitched 2 innings, with only one walk and a 4.50 ERA. Continue Reading →

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Editorial: Stillwater Area School Board, Can We Please Start the Healing Process?

Out of one side of his mouth, the Stillwater Area Public Schools Board Chair says it is time for the district to unify — and to heal — after two years of turmoil over school closings. Out of the other side of his mouth, he says science teachers at the high school who have concerns about overcrowding need to be “cuffed upside the head.”

Last time I checked, “cuffing someone upside the head” rarely leads to healing. For more than a year, I’ve heard calls to action from various members of the board — and our community — to start the healing process. It’s May. The school year will come to a close this month. Continue Reading →

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Youth Service Bureau Announces Inaugural Gala Supporting Service Expansion

The Youth Service Bureau, Inc (YSB) is pleased to invite you to our inaugural Gala, Thursday, May 18th, 2017, from 5:30pm – 9:00pm at the Lake Elmo Event Center. All funds raised support our capital expansion campaign and will be matched 1:1 by a grant from the Otto Bremer Trust. Dr. David Walsh, our keynote speaker and YSB advocate, will speak on the importance of early intervention. Dr. Walsh is the Author of “Why Do They Act That Way? A Survival Guide to the Adolescent Brain for You and Your Teen.” Continue Reading →

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Register for the K9 Combat Cancer 5k Event

We are excited to announce a NEW, family friendly 5k walk/run to support the American Cancer Society. We want to bring family, friends and our canine companions together to raise funds and fight back against cancer. The K9 Combat Cancer 5K is a non-competitive walk/run event for all ages. Register at:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Registration opens at 7 a.m.

Start time: 8 a.m.

$30 entry fee / $40 day of event

long sleeve t-shirt included with pre-registration, not guaranteed day of event. Children 15 and under are free

Both Events –

K9 5k and Bark For Life

$35 entry fee / $45 day of event

long sleeve t-shirt and swag bag full of goodies included

with pre-registration, not guaranteed day of event. Continue Reading →

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Interested in Joining A Garden Club?

The Trillium Chapter of the Perrenial Garden Club of Stillwater is looking for new members. We include women & men; we encourage all forms of hortuculture and provide social, educational and civic opportunities. The chapter maintains the rock garden across from the Lowell Inn and holds an annual plant sale. We meet the second Wednesday of the month at 9:30am. Please contact Paula at if you think you may be interested in being part of this friendly group of gardeners Continue Reading →

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Charlie’s Irish Pub Bartender Dan Schiltz Wins Best Bartender in the Valley Contest

Dan Schiltz — of Charlie’s Irish Pub — wowed judges and took home some serious bragging rights last weekend during the Best Bartender in the Valley competition. Schiltz won the 2017 Best Bartender in the Valley title with his technical take on a classic concoction: Judy’s Irish Old Fashion. Schiltz began crafting the cocktail by rimming a lowball glass with espresso grounds — which he the dipped in high-proof bourbon — and lit on fire to toast the grounds. In a separate glass Schiltz muddled ginger-infused sugar and chocolate bitters, poured 2 ounces of 2 Gingers over the sugar and served the drink neat with an orange accent. The annual Best Bartender in the Valley competition was held March 12 at Pub 112. Continue Reading →

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Ninth annual Lakeview Health Foundation Community Breakfast raises $44,000

The Lakeview Health Foundation held its ninth annual Community Breakfast last month, raising $44,000 for patient and community projects supported by the foundation. About 200 people attended the complimentary breakfast at the Lake Elmo Inn Event Center. The program included speeches by Chris Jesmer, husband to Jeanine Jesmer, who spoke about his experience giving CPR to his wife before handing over to a Lakeview EMS crew last year. Jeanine had suffered a sudden cardiac arrest but survived thanks to her husband following CPR directions from the 911 operator and the subsequent efforts by the EMS team. Other speakers included representatives from Lakeview EMS and Helene Houle, whose generous donation to the foundation enabled the purchase of a new ambulance last year. Continue Reading →

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150th Anniversary of Washington County Historic Courthouse Set for June 3

Washington County is planning a celebration of 150 years since the groundbreaking for the Historic Courthouse, the 100th anniversary of the Soldiers and Sailors Civil War Monument and a special dedication of a 2017 Time Capsule the first weekend in June. The 150th Anniversary Celebration will be 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturday, June 3, at the Historic Courthouse, featuring a time capsule ceremony, live music, carriage rides, Civil War re-enactors, $1 hot dogs, old-fashioned candy, picnicking on the lawn and a Civil War exhibit grand opening. During the event, the 150th Anniversary Time Capsule will be dedicated with items representing Washington County to give future generations a glimpse of what life is like in Washington County in 2017. Continue Reading →

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North Hill Community Garden Sign Up Begins March 30

North Hill residents are busy organizing the community garden to bring neighbors together through gardening. Sign up for North Hill Community Garden plots begins at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 30 at First United Methodist Church, 813 West Myrtle St. The North Hill Community Garden is located near Staples Field on the corner of Aspen Street West and North Martha Street. Plots are available on a first-come, first-serve basis to Stillwater residents, upon receiving payment and signing the gardening agreement available at Plot Sizes and Price

9 x 9 plots cost $30/season

4 x 9 plots cost $20/season

Handicap accessible plots are available. Continue Reading →

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Conversation of the Valley: ‘Real Mountains – A Grief Journey’ with Author Dan Seftick

The death of a child is a parent’s worst nightmare. The normal course of life has been altered. Parents aren’t supposed to bury their children. The future now bears little resemblance to the visions of past dreams. To call the road ahead devastating is an understatement. On the night of April 16, 2011, Dan Seftick’s 31 year old son Greg died with his friend in an avalanche in Grand Teton National Park. Continue Reading →

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New Youth and Family Education Coordinator at Youth Service Bureau

Youth Service Bureau (YSB) welcomes our newest team member, Merri Guggisberg. At YSB, our mission is to help youth and families learn the skills they need to be more successful, at home, in school and throughout the community. Merri brings over 10 years of experience leading youth programs and coordinating parent education sessions in Inver Grove Heights and throughout Dakota County’s Tri-District region. She holds a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences, and a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management. In addition to our early-intervention services in mental health, chemical health and Diversion programs—YSB is highly regarded for providing reliable, practical parenting information on a variety of relevant youth-development topics. Continue Reading →

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Last Chance: Nominate Your Favorite Volunteer for a Community Involvement Award

The deadline to nominate volunteers for the 2017 Community Involvement Awards is Friday, March 10. Community Thread and the Washington County Board of Commissioners partner for the awards that spotlight volunteerism and honor the great work of volunteers in our community. The awards recognize volunteers in six categories:



Exemplary Employer




You can nominate residents or organizations in Washington County who meet the criteria for each award. You can download the nomination form here. Email your nomination to (Subject: CIA). Continue Reading →

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Free Heart Screen March 4 at Stillwater Area High School

The Patrick Schoonover Heart Foundation will be at Stillwater Area High School from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, March 4 offering free Play For Patrick Youth Heart screens to Stillwater area teens ages 14-18. The Patrick Schoonover Heart Foundation have screened more 1,300 kids and found many kids with high blood pressure, minor heart defects and a few with life-threatening heart issues. The Screen includes;

Hands only CPR & AED Training (Parents encouraged to participate)

Family Health History

Height & Weight

Blood Pressure



Discussion with Physician (Parents encouraged to participate)

Share results with your family physician for baseline

Participants may register at Medical & Non-Medical Volunteers are also needed, and can register at Volunteers are welcome to register their kids (14 +) for the free heart screen. Continue Reading →

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Funeral Arrangements Set for Mother of 3 Killed in Head-On Crash

Funeral arrangements have been set for a Stillwater native who was killed in a head-on crash last week in central Minnesota. Lindsay Marie (Keenan) Cardinal, 35, of Foreston, died on Jan. 31, 2017 as a result of a collision involving a suspected drunk driver. She attended Stillwater schools, where she played soccer and basketball. Lindsay graduated from Stillwater Area High School in 2000. Continue Reading →

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Open Letter to Stillwater Area School Board, Superintendent Denise Pontrelli and Kristen Hoheisel

I submitted my open letter to all Stillwater School Board members, Superintendent Denise Pontrelli and Executive Director of Finance and Operations, Kristen Hoheisel:

Here is a link to an article published by the City Pages, “Stillwater school officials can’t explain financial adviser’s six-figure payday,” for your review. It is not new news to you, but you have neglected to take action for the best interest of the taxpayers. During the January School Board meeting, the School Board’s majority voted 4-3 to give Kristen Hoheisel blanket approval of contracts up to $100,000 without board review. As a taxpayer I am demanding a reversal of this January vote. I rarely hear the board ask any thought provoking questions in order to make better decisions. This rubber-stamp approach has to stop. Continue Reading →

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Sarah Stivland: Thoughts on Being a Stillwater School Board Member

The past few weeks since being sworn in as one of Stillwater School District’s newest board members has been a whirlwind of trainings and meetings. I’m learning what it takes to be an outstanding school board member. The primary purpose of the school board is to execute wise judgement in the use of community funds in order to provide the best possible learning experiences for each and every child in our district. According to Minnesota Statute 123B.09 subd.8:

“The board must superintend and manage the schools of the district; adopt rules for their organization, government, and instruction; keep registers; and prescribe textbooks and courses of study…”

In order to create the best possible learning environments, school boards must continuously engage with all community stakeholders to share accurate data on costs, academic achievement, building needs, innovation and technology needs, population trends, and many other important factors. In order to have an effective system, community members need to be engaged in the process. Continue Reading →

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