Archive | October, 2019

Loons in the MLS playoffs for the first time

Posted on 17 October 2019 by Tesha Christensen

by Matthew Davis

Minnesota United clinched its first-ever MLS playoff spot Sept. 25 in a 2-1 win over Sporting Kansas City.
The Loons (15-8-10) have flown to new heights in their second year of MLS soccer, not only making the playoffs but finishing near the top of the Western Conference standings. They entered the final week of the regular season with a shot at the second seed for the playoffs when they faced Seattle.
Minnesota United kept pace in the west with a 1-1 tie for its home finale against the Los Angeles Galaxy Sept. 29 at Allianz Field in St. Paul. Michael Boxall tied the game for the Loons in the 75th minute.
It concluded the Loons’ first regular season at the new soccer stadium in St. Paul. They spent the past few years at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis before Allianz Field opened this season.
Minnesota United came into this season off an 11-20-3 record in 2018 for its MLS debut, moving over from the NASL. The Loons finished 10th in the Western Conference and missed the playoffs.
This year’s squad turned things around, winning its first two games out the gate in March. They picked up more momentum with four wins and two ties during April and May. The Loons then inched their way up the Western Conference standings over the summer.
Minnesota United’s Sept. 25 win over Sporting Kansas City turned a dream into reality for the second-year MLS franchise, officially sealing a playoff spot. The Loons trailed Sporting Kansas City for most of the game, but Ozzie Alonso tied things up in the 70th minute. Hassani Dotson scored the game-winner in the 90th minute.
The Loons came into the game going 2-1-1 in their past five MLS games during September. That included a scoreless tie with the Portland Timbers Sept. 22 and a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake Sept. 15.
Minnesota United opened the month big with a 2-0 win over Western Conference leader Los Angeles. The Loons then played a friendly at home against CF Pachuca Sept. 7 before falling 2-0 to Houston Sept. 11.
United’s season finale determined the Loons’ chances of hosting a playoff game in mid October. It will make for a busy month at Allianz Field, which will also host the University of St. Thomas football game against archrival St. John’s University Oct. 19.
It marks the second month in a row with a special sporting event at the field outside the Loons’ schedule. The U.S. women’s national team and women’s World Cup champions played an exhibition game there Sept. 3, beating Portugal 3-0.

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Monitor in a Minute October 2019

Posted on 17 October 2019 by Tesha Christensen

by Jane McClure

* Online only article
Business could lose licenses
Steps are underway to revoke city licenses for a troubled Hamline-Midway convenience store and gas station. The Midway BP Amoco at 1347 W. University Ave. has been a trouble spot in recent years, with crimes ranging from shootings to loitering. One person died in a shooting this past summer.
A licensing hearing is planned for Nov. 11 at City Hall. Staff from the city’s Police Department and Department of safety and Inspections have called the business uncooperative, as city requests for surveillance tapes and other information have gone unanswered.
The latest effort is to take away the tobacco sales and gas station city licenses, which is driving the upcoming hearing process. A recommendation on the licenses would eventually go to the St. Paul City Council, which would then hold another hearing.
Business owner Khaled Aloul, who owns other twin Cities area gas station-convenience stores, is fighting the city’s plans. Aloul in recent years has tried to do a major renovation of the business. if those plans are thwarted the business could be in jeopardy. Under a sweeping University Avenue rezoning plan adopted by the city in 2010, a new gas station-convenience store at the property likely wouldn’t allowed.
Aloul has a long history of battling with city officials. Illegal tobacco sales, shots fired calls, property code violations weapons and large late-night and early-morning gatherings outside of the business are among the many complaints about the business.
Hamline Midway Coalition is collecting comments on the business in preparation for the hearing, athttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/XRNTL5Z?fbclid=IwAR1e8EEhbcs6Ic1rYPbagsCbyIkOzh3-UnbJf4UvBRxI-nf-UhpUS8aAjhk
The survey asked respondents eight questions, including what if any activities they have witnessed at the business and what they’d like to see in the area there in the future. Comments are due by early November and as of late September more than 200 comments had been logged.

Peddler license dispute resolved
A Minnesota State Fair peddler license dispute dating from 2018 has been resolved. The St. Paul City Council Sept. 25 took final action on an issue involving a vendor violating city regulations on where to sell products.
Vendor Todd L. Grosklags was seen in August 2018 selling fair tickets at the corner of Snelling Avenue and Midway Parkway. That violated a regulation that sales not take place within 25 feet of a corner. Two instances of improper sales were observed within a six-day period. Grosklags got a warning for the first sale and was cited for the second sale.
The case went to the City Council but was then sent to an administrative law judge at the state level. A hearing was set for July but Grosklags never showed up. that brought a default ruling in favor of the city.
City officials in recent years have cracked down illegal instance of peddling around the Minnesota state fair, in response to neighborhood complaints.

Tobacco regulations must wait
Activists who want St. Paul retailers to raise the legal tobacco purchasing age from 18 to 21 may have a longer wait to get such a restriction enacted. Following a September 3 public hearing Council Member Dai Thao amended his proposed ordinance.
One change Thao made, which would remove penalties against underaged purchasers of tobacco products, is considered to be a substantive change. That means renotification of affected store owners and a second public hearing are needed. That will be held in mid-October.
More than three dozen people attended hearings on two Thao proposals. One would raise the legal minimum age to enter a liquor store from 18 to 21. That ordinance won approval Sept. 11. The second, more controversial ordinance, would raise the minimum age to purchase tobacco, tobacco-related devices and similar products from 18 to 21.
More than 40 people, including youth activists and e-cig store owners, attended the hearing. Several young people said that strict regulations are needed especially against vaping. Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling the aerosol, often referred to as vapor, which is produced by an e-cigarette or similar device.
Central High student Hayat Fathi described to the council how one of her schoolmates became very ill from vaping. Fathi said vaping is widespread at her school and among her peers. She described how pencil bags are used to conceal the small devices.
“Every bathroom at my school has a subtle fruit smell” because of vaping, she said.
Half a dozen people who own or work at stores that sell vaping equipment and supplies spoke against the ordinance. While agreeing that criminal penalties against minors should be removed, speakers said the ordinance unfairly targets their stores. They said online sales, with supplies that make users sick, should be the focus.
Jacob Bernstein is a co-owner of Imperial Vapor, 227 N. Snelling Ave. he said vaping is a way for people to stop smoking tobacco products and that has to be considered. He and other speakers described starting smoking as teenagers and then switching to vaping.
Bernstein and other store owners and employees said they don’t sell products to people who are underage. They also questioned why vaping products are regulated in the same way that tobacco products are.

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Natural Burials 13

‘Green’ cemetery opens in Twin Cities

Posted on 10 October 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Catholic Cemeteries begins offering natural burials in three-acre restored prairie


Executive director Joan Gizek stood on top of the plot she has already purchased in the natural burial section of Resurrection Cemetery. She said, “I love the idea of coming into the world, and leaving the world, simply. I look forward to going back to the earth, to being part of creation. More than 100,000 tons of steel and 1,600,000 tons of concrete are used in the U.S. for traditional burials each year. Natural burial is the original recycling.” (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

In the Catholic tradition, the body upon death is re-committed to the earth, “for we are dust, and to dust we shall return.”
Some people are taking this belief to heart again, with a desire to have a more organic, less industrial approach to death and burial.
The Catholic Cemeteries consists of five locations that have served the Twin Cities Catholic community since 1856. Their Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights has recently become what is known as a hybrid cemetery. It contains a traditional cemetery, and a newly created natural burial allotment on a nearly three-acre restored prairie.
As gravesites in the allotment become occupied, native perennial flowers and grasses will cover them. Eventually, the natural burial area will become a peaceful, uninterrupted prairie maintained in perpetuity along with rest of the grounds.

What is a natural burial?
Catholic Cemeteries Executive Director Joan Gezik said, “We’ve been studying the natural burial concept for the last eight years. Our allotment was just blessed and dedicated by St. Paul Arch Bishop Hebda on Memorial Day 2019. Our mission is to bury the dead – not just Catholics. The first of several sections that we’ve opened can hold 40 graves, and we have sold over half of them.”
A natural burial cemetery can use machinery to dig graves, but no chemicals are used to prepare the bodies of the deceased or to maintain the cemetery grounds. In the natural burial process, the bodies of the deceased, and the earth to which they return, are treated with reverence.
In a natural burial, the deceased is placed directly into the ground where it decomposes naturally — without embalming fluid, and without a burial vault. The remains of the deceased are placed directly in the earth, allowing the body to decompose naturally.
If the body is clothed, the clothing must be made of natural fibers such as cotton, linen, wool, or silk that will decompose over time. The garments must be free of all plastic and metal such as buttons, zippers, and hooks. Jewelry, belt buckles, and other materials that are not biodegradable cannot be buried along with the deceased.
The body of the deceased may be washed, wrapped in a cloth shroud made of natural fiber, and placed in a grave – which at Resurrection Cemetery is dug to four feet deep. The wrapped body can also be placed in an open or closed container made of biodegradable material like pine, wicker, or bamboo.
Rather than placing individual headstones or markers on grave sites, the names of the deceased, along with their birth and death years, are listed on a permanent community monument in the natural burial area. The cemetery office will also maintain burial records, and a grid map with the approximate location of each burial site.
Costs associated with a natural burial are less than those of a conventional burial. The purchase of a gravesite includes a contribution to the permanent burial site care fund, and the cost of memorializing a name on the common memorial. The internment (grave opening and closing) fee is paid at the time of burial; with natural burial, no outer burial container is required by law.
The natural burial area at Resurrection Cemetery is located at the southwest corner of the Chapel Mausoleum. Access it from the front of the mausoleum by following the sidewalk along the west side of the building. Resurrection Cemetery is located at 2105 Lexington Ave. S. in Mendota Heights.


From then to now
When the body of Jesus was removed from the cross, it was washed, wrapped in a cloth shroud, and placed in a tomb. For many years, most burials took place in a similar manner. These practices changed in the U.S. around the time of the Civil War, when bodies were transported long distances for burial. By treating the body with embalming fluids to prevent decomposition, the body became suitable for transportation and for viewing.

Renewed interest in natural burial is influenced, in part, by people’s desire to honor their loved ones in a manner that is sensitive to the environment. The first “green” cemetery in North America was opened in South Carolina in 1998.

Inspired by Pope Francis
Pope Francis – whose reverence for nature led him to choose his papal name inspired by St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of ecology, is committed to the sanctity of nature and the need to protect it. The Pope asks Catholics to be mindful of the natural world, and to dedicate themselves to having a gentler impact on the planet.

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55+ help shape, define features of ThePOINTE’s active living community

Posted on 10 October 2019 by Tesha Christensen

Consider moving to an active adult community, one that nurtures the mind, body, and soul of residents.
When ThePOINTE Roseville opens in August 2020, it will be among the 55+ apartment buildings offering a new kind of senior living experience.
“Many of our signed residents are looking to simplify their lives with one-level apartment homes that offer maintenance-free living along with social events available to them when they choose to participate,” remarked ThePOINTE Roseville’s Terri Ford.
“ThePOINTE Roseville was designed for active adults in mind looking to spend more time socializing with family and friends. Many are looking to travel, make new friendships and experience new things. We take the worry out of maintaining their home; we are a phone call away.”
“We have designed a building that works for people at whatever stage of life they are in, their interests, and their desired level of activity,” observed Great Lakes Management President Mike Pagh, who works on behalf of property owner and developer United Properties.
The facility is set up with many different community spaces. Some are large while other more intimate.
“We’re creating a sense of community,” said Pagh.
Designers envision that long-time local residents can move into ThePOINTE Roseville to stay within their community. “Residents can maintain longtime friendships and relationships while meeting new people,” said Pagh.
While residents are away, a concierge will tend to their home needs. ThePOINTE will also employ an enrichment coordinator to plan social and physical activities, as well as social outings, pointed out Ford.
ThePOINTE offers:
• Beautiful outdoor landscaped plaza with outdoor kitchen, gas fire pit, bocce ball court and raised gardens
• Fitness center along with a dedicated yoga studio
• Art studio, workshop, club room, lounges, coffee/juice bar
• Community rooms for entertaining and large social events
• Business center with separate conference room
• Pet friendly with wash station and walking areas
• Golf simulator with lounge and winter leagues
ThePOINTE was designed based on comments from residents at other United Properties locations who told designers what they want to see in 55+ community, pointed out Pagh. The facility will be similar to the Applewood Pointe Communities with the main difference being that residents rent rather than own at ThePOINTE.
Each of the 95 units at ThePOINTE includes modern amenities that renters expect, according to Pagh, such as center islands, ceramic backsplashes, high-end lighting packages, and large windows that let in lots of natural light.
The spacious apartments have quartz counters and in-unit GE washer and dryers. Each home has it own individual climate control with dedicated internet, phone and satellite TV. All utilities are included in the rent with the exception of electric. The unit interior finishes were selected by a professional designer. One storage unit and garage space is included.
Units have generous decks and balconies. Studio apartments of 416-617 square feet will cost between $835-$1,390, while one bedroom apartments of 718-897 square feet will range from $1,685-$2,035. Options go up to three bedrooms with two baths, as well as an add-on den. There are seven different styles and 22 different floorplans.
ThePOINTE is a smoke-free community.
One of the main features is that it is a turn-key community, Pagh observed. “You can turn the key and walk away for a day, a month or the whole winter, and it’s maintenance-free,” said Pagh.
One of the most common questions Pagh hears is what happens if a resident gets ill and is no longer able to live as independently.
He pointed out that those with health concerns have a 60-day clause they can activate to move out and into a space with more higher-level care options, such as Cherrywood Pointe next door.
Leases for ThePOINTE are already being signed, and the facility is about 50% full.
“The market has been highly receptive to this offering, and we’re thrilled with the response to what we’ve designed,” said Pagh.
United Properties intends to use the Roseville location as a model for future developments.
Pagh said, “We look forward to developing at other great locations within the Twin Cities.”

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2019 Midway Chamber Directory