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September 21, 2020

New P.D. project cost reviewed
Granted,  the information presented last week to the Lakes Area Police Commmission on a new headquarters for the agency was just preliminary;  but members were left rather speechless as the sticker price was announced.  BKV Group was hired to do an analysis of new police facility space needs and to see how a facility could best be oriented on the chosen site.  Design firm representative Bruce Schwartzman estimated $7.4 million for the project.
Friday, September 18, 2020

Remembering 19 years later....
The 9-11 tribute, or Patriots’ Day as it has come to be known, has been a Chisago City downtown event every Sept. 11.  and last week a good-sized audience came together to honor the officers, first responders and military servicepeople who answered when the country needed them.  Dozens of local law enforcement and firefighters participated, as well as the local veterans’ honor guard and the traditional bagpipes were played by Paul Dennison.  In large photo top--Lakes Area Chief of Police Bill Schlumbohm had some moving words to share. Beyond the Yellow Ribbon organizer Cory Boogaard (in  fatigues) was a fantastic representative of the military in his talk for this event.
Friday, September 18, 2020

Introducing budding rock star Kiernan Tollefson
Kiernan Tollefson is a 21 year-old Franconia Township college student.  Just your average good-kid with a great attitude.  Kiernan  is a budding rock star and he just recently released the first of what is hopefully, many albums. We had a chance to catch up with him for a little Q & A.
Friday, September 18, 2020

Chisago City Council ponders 2021 budget at Sept. 8 work session
The Chisago City Council gathered Sept. 8 for a special workshop meeting to consider next year’s General Fund Budget. The proposed 2021 budget totals $2.32 million, up 6.27 percent from this year’s budget of $2.18 million. 
Friday, September 18, 2020

Taylors Falls 2021 levy adopted
In a very efficient manner the city council for Taylors Falls wrapped up setting their budget and levy for next year, establishing the maximum Sept. 15 and then in December, this will be finalized and can be reduced but not added onto. 
Friday, September 18, 2020

Stacy Council sells business park lots
Stacy City council met September 8 for a regular meeting. Councilmember Paul Authier was not in attendance.  The council heard from City Clerk Sharon Payne about the restaurant Tomatoes.  Payne told the council the restaurant has submitted all of the paperwork for their wine sales application.  Payne noted that a wine license would also include beer sales.  The council approved the wine license unanimously.
Friday, September 18, 2020

North Branch council hearing September 22 on complaints re: Neider
North Branch City Council will hold a hearing on a complaint filed against Council member Kelly Neider alleging that she violated a number of rules of the city’s code of conduct.  The hearing is open door, but North Branch interim legal counsel David Anderson said last week the September 22 hearing will only set the stage for Neider to respond to the accusations and for council to consider if there’s any merit to the complaints.  There will be no public testimony. 
Friday, September 18, 2020

Squash is the essence of fall
We are in the season of squash, pumpkins and gourds. All these years I thought that pumpkins are pumpkins, squash are squash and gourds are the small funny shaped gourds. Does that make any sense? Well people, my info guru tells me that pumpkins and squash are gourds! We are never too old to learn, are we?
Friday, September 18, 2020

Car show in Shafer; cleaning day; could he possibly go any faster?
Last weekend we had a great car show hosted by Ole’s Crossroads in Shafer.  Believe it or not, Shafer will host another car show this weekend.  Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., classic car will litter the streets of Shafer.  The show will benefit car enthusiast Jack Bestul who recently passed away of a rare disease. 
Friday, September 18, 2020

Sheriff to seek OK for body worn cameras
The Chisago County Board was scheduled to hear a presentation on a draft policy September 16, as a first step for the sheriff’s office to implement a plan to bring body worn cameras into county law enforcement operations. 
Friday, September 18, 2020

Center City Council and Xcel come to terms
A couple of representatives for Xcel Energy attended the Center City Council meeting September 1 to review a planned “viper” switch to improve electric system reliability.  The equipment can be perceived as unsightly in some peoples’ minds, so Xcel was advised by city staff to talk with council about the need for the installation and the location.
Friday, September 11, 2020

New Water & Light utility GM gets job offer
North Branch Water and Light Commission voted unanimously last week to extend the General Manager job to  Hibbing public utility official Scott Hautala.  Chair Terry Smith remarked that as a member of the personnel subcommittee  which interviewed the candidate he feels Hautala will be a real asset.
Friday, September 11, 2020

CLACF reminds public about available grants
Pictured, Chisago Lakes Community Foundation members are reminding the public about grants that are available to do a huge assortment of public good.  The Foundation has an application form inside that you are invited to complete if you are involved in a local organization or group that could use a little financial assistance to make a project or program happen.  Members are: Jesse Johnson, left back, Sue Mack, Loretta Anderson, Susan Clayton, Ann Gillach and Sara Johnson. Front row, left Patricia Mahoney, Dan Hoolihan, Louann Mattson, Adam Wojtowicz and Julie Lauritzen. Form is on page 9.
Friday, September 11, 2020

Chisago Lakes sewage treatment Veolia contract gets thumbs up
The Chisago Lakes Joint Sewage Treatment Commission handed over the operations of the regional wastewater system to Veolia Water North America, LLC last week.  A special meeting was called to finalize the draft contract for the private company’s services and Veolia WNA should be assuming responsibilities September 14. 
Friday, September 11, 2020

Sculpture Park gathering, arts space to open
The Franconia Sculpture Park wants to invite the public to a grand opening Saturday September 26, of the Franconia Commons.  This is also the 24th annual Art and Artists Celebration to be held by FSP.
Friday, September 11, 2020

Cancellations are abundant; how about a good old fashion' car show?
This weekend would have been Hay Days. Yet another event we can check off as “maybe next year”.  We are running out of events to cancel around here.  All-in-all people have come to grips with the pandemic and are trying to keep a positive attitude about our new “cancelled” lives.  With everything closed or altered, you would like to think this would be a great time to catch up with old friends.  For whatever reason, that has not happened (with us anyway.) 
Friday, September 11, 2020

Fruitful bounty for salads
Today I am going back to salads. Specifically, fruit salads. We are so lucky to have such a variety of fresh fruit available for us. We not only have fruits that are ‘in season’ at our local farmers market, roadside stands and of course our grocery stores. We enjoy fruits the year round shipped in from faraway places. In the produce department of our local grocery store, you can find almost any variety of fruit to make nutritious salads. We have the best fruits to help keep us healthy.  Eat fruit often, whether fresh, canned or frozen. They are so good for us.
Friday, September 11, 2020

Sheriff's Office opens comment on body worn camera proposal/policy
The Chisago County Board will hear a presentation on a draft policy September 16, as a first step for the sheriff’s office to implement a plan to bring bodyworn cameras into county law enforcement operations.
Thursday, September 10, 2020

With no agenda adopted North Branch Council stalls out first hour of meeting
The eggshells everybody in North Branch City Hall has been tip-toeing on top of finally began to shatter last week.  The mayor of North Branch has been very clear he wants Council member Kathy Blomquist gone, and he has begun to actively make that option very attractive. 
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Anything can happen on the river...
For this 20-something guy from rural Taylors Falls, when he looks back on summer 2020 some things that will not come to mind are racial unrest, video of law enforcement shootings, or even covid-19.   
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Chisago City citizen disputes water tower fee
On Aug. 25, the Chisago City Council heard a resident’s plea for the city to rescind the current flat fee of $27.45 a quarter to pay off the water tower renovation and to consider an increase in the water use rate instead.
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Final plat for Green Lake Villas approved minus one Riparian lot
High Point Land, LLC, plans to develop 35 detached town homes and custom homes on the former Lakeside Elementary School property on Little Green Lake.    On Aug. 25, the Chisago City Council approved the final plat for Green Lake Villas with one last-minute change, eliminating lakeshore (riparian) rights from one lot in the Planned Unit Development. 
Thursday, September 3, 2020

C'mon people-get a grip here; Relay for Life was awe inspiring
A few nights ago we had our first case of political rage.  Ok political rage is nothing new, but we had someone in our community physically attack a family’s property just because of their political affiliation.  The person threw paint all over the family’s vehicle before being chased off the property.
Thursday, September 3, 2020

A bit of tomato trivia and recipes
It’s about tomatoes today. Did you know tomatoes are really a fruit and not a veggie? As far as I’m concerned, they’re a veggie. Just a bit of tomato  info for you since some recipes call for one pound of tomatoes. That would be four medium globe tomatoes. One pound of tomatoes, peeled and seeds removed, equals about 1-1/2 cup of tomato pulp. Twenty-five to 30 cherry tomatoes equals about one pound. If you pick your tomatoes before they’re red ripe, store them at room temperature. Don’t ripen tomatoes on a window-sill in direct sunlight as the sunlight softens them but doesn’t help them to ripen. A good spot to ripen them is in a brown paper bag, closed tightly. The tomatoes give off ethylene-gas, a natural ripening agent in all fruit speeding up the ripening process. The same goes with bananas and other fruits as well.
Thursday, September 3, 2020

Ki Chi a blast for everyone
The Chisago City scaled down Ki Chi Saga Days event in the park;  featured a booth for the city parks department where Kaitlin Carlson and Aisha Roche were holding down the fort, explaining their Girl Scout Silver Award project.   The bird houses were assembled with materials provided by Gregory Contracting and painted by volunteers working with the girl scouts-- to then place the houses in city parks.  (Story Press July 30.)
Friday, August 28, 2020

Heartland Express facing restructuring
The Heartland Express has been a seemingly successful collaborative transit program between Chisago and Isanti counties; but last week the Isanti County Board agreed to basically sever ties in being funded with a state transit aid grant-- and the Chisago County Board could do nothing to reverse that.  The fine print in the collaborative contract left the commissioners no option but to continue to collaborate with Isanti towards a shared busing system.  (The vote was 4-1 with Rick Greene opposed due to wording in the resolution he didn’t like.)
Friday, August 28, 2020

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