Dayton's Bluff District Forum
November 2007
Volume 20, No. 8

Dayton's Bluff Residents Go Green for Halloween

Photo by Greg Cosimini
Jill (left) and Jack O'Lantern were born, raised and carved in Dayton’s Bluff.  They plan to spend Halloween brightly lit on a neighborhood porch before returning to their garden patch to help raise next year's pumpkins. Their carbon footprint is very small.  They may be orange in color but they are green in spirit.  See below for more ways to live green on the Bluff.

Green Historic Renovation

By Angela DuPaul
   I attended the recent 2007 National Trust Conference here in Saint Paul and two sessions on “green” energy as it relates to historic preservation.  Of course preservation has inadvertently been ecological all along: it’s all about reuse.  The hot phrase this year was “embodied energy”.  Energy that was used creating a building decades ago can still benefit us today.  On the other hand, demolishing a building throws away that energy.  On top of that you have to expend more energy creating a replacement building.  Wasteful.  One presenter said 1 brick is equal to 1 kilowatt hour.  He was involved in the restoration of a small lighthouse in Rhode Island.  To equal the embodied energy in the walls of the lighthouse, a wind turbine generator would have to spin constantly for 64 years! 
   That said, old buildings have been associated with wasteful energy consumption (rightly so).   The emerging trend is to retain the embodied energy of an existing building and to maximize its energy efficiency through insulation and system upgrades.  The old and the new merge to create something superior to both new construction and traditional aesthetic restoration.  One developer in Utah specializes in restoring old buildings, making them “green”, then using them as affordable housing: three good things. 
   The presenters talked about the “building envelope”.  That is, the existing shell of a building which can house more efficient interiors using “green” technology.  The envelope is made tight (no wind whistling through), then the inside is redone using efficient HVAC, low-VOC materials and finishes, photovoltaic arrays cleverly positioned so as not to mar the historic façade (sitting low behind a parapet wall for example), water-conserving bathroom fixtures, low-e double pane windows that are sized appropriately for the existing openings, Energy Star appliances, etc.  One restoration project profiled has been retrofitted to use geothermal temperature control (possible because of an adjacent empty lot). 
   Historic buildings are getting LEED certification.  Remarkable.  In fact it goes a step further with the new LEED-ND standards which dictate smart growth as well as smart buildings.  What good is a super-efficient building in the middle of nowhere if people have to burn lots of energy getting to and from it?  LEED-ND gives points for energy-efficient buildings that are also located near public transit and basic amenities.  Historic buildings often have a leg-up on that score.  It was so nice to see historic preservation, environmentalism, and affordable housing advocacy working as a team.

Kermit Was Wrong: It Is Easy Being Green

L to r: Brian Miller, Chris Newton, Steve Trimble, Linda LaBarre, Jennifer Newton, Jennifer Herman, John Barbie and Garry Fay  at a Dayton’s Bluff Community Garden planning meeting. If you are interested in working on starting a community garden in Dayton’s Bluff email or call Karin at 651-772-2075.    
Photo by Karin DuPaul

By Garry Fay
   Avid green-space enthusiasts held a series of inaugural meetings recently to assess local interest in community gardening and brainstorm ways to implement shared visions. In addition to local community members, gardening and city planning resources were on hand to provide expertise, including: Mark Granlund, St. Paul’s Parks and Rec Arts and Gardening Program Coordinator; Kirsten Saylor, Gardenworks: Promoting and Preserving Community Gardening across the Twin Cities; and Jennifer Jimenez, Public Land Trust.
   Neighbors with a desire for community gardens arrived with visions, ideas and a variety of perspectives, and potential community garden locations for pilot projects were discussed. The first area is vacant land at the intersection of Mounds Blvd. and Pacific Street at the west entrance to Mounds Park. The second location is the little known Skidmore Park located on Fourth Street east of Earl. This location is especially intriguing because of the proximity of several vacant properties.
   One idea brought forth by a community member is to work with the city to transition uninhabitable vacant properties into green spaces to ease vacant housing crowding, decrease crime and encourage neighbors to congregate together in the newly formed green spaces. Other locations discussed were the many vacant lots, space around the Mounds Park Maintenance Building and the Globe and 3M properties along Seventh Street.
   Join us if you are interested in creating new community green spaces for food, flowers or art. Help change the world one plant at a time by growing more of our own food, feeding the hungry and connecting with neighbors across generations, cultures and languages. Green spaces reduce crime, vandalism, isolation and depression and provide good food, fresh air, sunshine, exercise and even economic growth and jobs.
   Whether your garden focus is vegetable, heirloom, flower, butterfly, rain or native, whether you’re passionate about green roofs or seed saving, whether rain barrels float your boat or you just like getting dirty, we want you. Bring your vision and experience to this earth-changing community garden discussion. For more information, call Garry or Karin at (651) 772-2075 or email

A Summer Treasure Hibernates

Above: The Dari-ette at 1440 E. Minneahaha Ave. has been a fixture in Dayton’s Bluff since 1951.  It is open each year from late March through October.     
Below: Current owner/operator Angela "Ang" Fida               Photos by Ed Lambert

By Ed Lambert, Executive Director, Dayton’s Bluff Community Council
   Drive-in restaurants are quite different than drive-thru places, as anyone familiar with both knows.  Another unique and pleasing feature of Dayton’s Bluff is that we have the only operating drive-in Saint Paul…the Dari-ette at 1440 E. Minnehaha.  When you get this month’s Forum it will have closed for the winter; they’re generally open 7 days a week from late March until late October each year.
   Some may have seen the Dari-ette on the Food Network, featured on a pilot show called “Drive-ins, Diners, and Dives” aired in November of 2006 and repeated this summer.  The film crew was here last summer for 4 days of filming at this drive-in, and also at the famous Al’s Breakfast in Dinkytown.  We will probably see more footage of the Dari-ette on that show (now a series) during the coming season.
   Established in 1951, it is also one of the oldest continually operating businesses in Dayton’s Bluff.  It has yet another unique feature that surprises anyone who visits there for the first time; in addition to the usual burgers and fries, it has an extensive and delicious home cooked Italian menu.  The Italian menu emerged in the mid 60s during the phase when the second generation (John and Lois) took over.  Now they make 40 gallons of sauce from scratch every other day they are open.
   Home cooked (from scratch) sausage and meatballs, among other ingredients, are available at this Italian family restaurant owned and run by the Fida family for 3 generations.   The current owner operator, Angela Fida, sat down with me recently in their little-known, small and charming, sit-down dining area decorated with a 50’s theme.  They also have an outside seating area with picnic tables.
   “Ang,” as friends and long-time customers know her, told me about the unique deep fried meatballs she is well known for, as well as the pasta and other items that I have yet to fully explore.  I am writing this in mid October, so will have an opportunity to return this month and try something besides my favorite drive-in fare they have in abundance.  You can get burgers and fries, ice-cream cones, sundaes, and all the stuff one expects at a drive-in restaurant; and a rich and interesting Italian menu as well.
      The place has 29 stands with two-way hard-wired communication and attached food trays, just like the classic drive-in it is.  One pulls alongside one of the stands, calls in, places an order from the menu shown on the stand, and a carhop brings it out to your stand.  
   Ang has a difficult time finding replacement parts to keep all stands in operation, but has managed very well so far.  The new computer based options for this kind of stand are simply too expensive so she anticipates that one day most of them will be gone.  At that time she will go back to the original two-way carhop who takes your order in person, as well as delivers it to the stand next to your car window.
   Lonnie Anderson, the actress who went to Roseville High School, used to come here often; as has Lionel Ritchie and the Commodores, when they were performing in the Twin Cities.
   Each summer when classic car buffs gather at car shows in the Twin Cities, including the huge one at the State Fair grounds each June, you will see many of them at her drive-in enjoying the experience and the food.  It is an amazing sight, with a lot of good old time fellowship and sharing of stories about old times and keeping old cars beautiful and running.  A completely restored 1960 Chevy impala generally sells for $30,000 or more; other restored vehicles can fetch even more.
   Ang’s Grampa and Grandma (Mike and Sarafina) started the place as a classic burger and fries drive-in and, for their construction company, it was the first project they built.  The lot was a finished and covered landfill at the time.  Remarkably, their construction company’s last project was building the area Dayton’s Bluff Branch Post Office building right across the street.
   The Post Office site was once a dump, then a ball field, before the Fida family built the post office there.  During the ball field days, the Dari-ette did a lot of business with the players and fans who came there.  Their construction company was also involved in building Aldrich Arena off White Bear and Larpenteur further east of Dayton’s Bluff.
   Ang and her family have no plans to sell or close the business as it is quite successful and fun.  Future plans include going to a year round operation, with a possible expansion of the dining area toward the Minnehaha side of the building, and moving the picnic area a bit to the west into part of the current parking area.   There is nothing in the works as yet, however.  Drive in next spring and give yourself a unique treat for lunch or dinner.

Looking for Neighborhood Honor Roll Candidates

   The Dayton’s Bluff District 4 Community Council is looking for three people in Dayton’s Bluff to add to the honor roll this year. If you know of someone who has done an outstanding job of volunteer work in Dayton’s Bluff, call Karin at 772-2075 or  email for more information.
   The Saint Paul Neighborhood Honor Roll started in the 1980s and is a listing of Saint Paul citizens who have done outstanding service in their neighborhoods over a long period of time. Each year all 17 District Councils can add three names to the honor roll. Past honor roll inductees volunteered for years at a church or a school, served on their community council board of directors, block club leaders, led projects like buckthorn removal or spearheaded a community event.
   Last year the Dayton’s Bluff District 4 Community Council added Sharon McCrea, Dave Murphy, and Margie Smith for their years of service in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood.
   The Saint Paul Neighborhood Honor Roll is located in the hallway on the third floor of Saint Paul City Hall. The quality and amount of volunteer time that make our communities better is amazing in Saint Paul.

New Friends of Swede Hollow are Welcome

   Watch the Glow of the Setting Sun…. is just one of the fun events that Friends of Swede Hollow (FOSH) sponsors.  Others include oral history sessions, history tours, and other events that promote Swede Hollow Park. FOSH works on Swede Hollow issues, planning, and plantings, orchestrating a number of clean ups and work days, projects in the park and holds a monthly meeting on the first Wednesday of each month.  
   FOSH initiated the Lower Phalen Creek Project, a project to extend the Bruce Vento Trail and make the area from Swede Hollow to the Mississippi River a beautiful nature area like Swede Hollow, which is now the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. FOSH started a project in 1998 to save the Hamm Brewery buildings. The brewery is just north of Swede Hollow and the brewery is a beautiful backdrop to Swede Hollow as well as a very important Saint Paul landmark.
   FOSH is a nonprofit organization formed in 1994 when a number of interested neighbors from both sides of Swede Hollow came together to discuss our common goals, deep affection for, and commitment to the park, as well as our dreams, ideas, concerns, and the history of Swede Hollow. Other dedicated Swede Hollow supporters have joined the group since then. Many of the members have been involved in Swede Hollow since the early 1970s when Swede Hollow Park was in the early stages of development.
    FOSH welcomes new members. If you are interested in learning more about it or have any questions call 651-776-0550 or email

Community Council Election Results

   The Dayton’s Bluff Community Council potluck, election, and annual meeting were a great success on October 15.  The Community Council meeting room was full of board members, families, neighbors, Julie Benick and Dave Murphy, both former Presidents of the community council, and staff. The food was outstanding. Ellen Biales gave an inspiring State of Dayton’s Bluff talk which was filled with all kinds of good things that are happening in Dayton’s Bluff.
   The ballots were counted and the new board members are:
At-Large - Martin Russo (new board member)
Subdistrict A - Roy Carlson (returning board member) and Donna Stockman (new board member)
Subdistrict B - Sharon McCrea (returning board member) and Joyce Danner (new board member)
Subdistrict C - Carla Riehle (returning board member) and Alan Swearingen (new board member)
Subdistrict D - Stephanie Harr (returning board member) and Avinash Viswanathan (new board member).
   They will join current board members: At-Large Wally Waranka current President, Subdistrict A Aaron Breiwick, Subdistrict B Jean Comstock and Lorraine Love, Subdistrict C Paul Godfread and David Skelton, and in Subdistrict D Jacob Dorer and John Barbie. Presently there is one board seat open in Subdistrict A.  If you are interested or need more information call Karin DuPaul at 651-772-2075.
   The new board members will be seated at the 7:00 p.m. Nov. 19  meeting.  The Council encourages all residents, business owners, and folks who work in Dayton’s Bluff to come to this meeting and meet the new board as it selects its four officers for the next year.
   New this year is a by-law change allowing any interested resident or business-person to serve on the Greenspace or Arts and Culture Committee; or to serve as Chair of these committees.     It is anticipated that one or more new committees may be formed this year with the same, more flexible, membership expectations.

Be Your Own Boss - Register Early for Next Small Business Class

  The Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood Microentrepreneur Class is taking applications for the spring 2008 class.  This program helps start-up and young businesses on the East Side.  All East Side entrepreneurs are welcome.
   Class room training lasts 8 weeks and includes topics such as operations management, marketing, financial management, how to creating a successful business, and preparing a business plan, plus 8 hours of one on one time with the instructor to work on your business concept.  Those who successfully complete the course and locate their businesses in target neighborhoods are eligible for ongoing business support services.
   Some examples of businesses started by people who have previously taken this course include graphics, landscaping, photography, food service, restoration of wood furniture and works of art, custom floral design for weddings and events, and exterior and interior painting.  The course is sponsored by the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council and the Neighborhood Development Center.  There is a registration fee based on a sliding fee scale.  The next session will start in April. Class size is limited, so do not wait to apply. For an application, call Karin at 651-772-2075 or email

Dayton's Bluff Community Meeting

   The next Community Meeting is Thursday, November 1 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the meeting room at the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council, 798 East 7th Street at the corner of 7th and Margaret.
   The Dayton’s Bluff Community Council holds its Community Meeting on the 1st Thursday of each month.  The purpose is to work with block clubs and neighborhood residents on problem properties, criminal and nuisance behavior, code enforcement issues and any other neighborhood issues, concerns, or new ideas for improvement in Dayton’s Bluff.
   If  you would like, you can email or call Karin at 772-2075 with addresses of problems before the meeting. If I have the addresses of problems ahead of time I can get them to the police and NHPI (code enforcement).  Then they can bring information about the problems to the meeting.    Remember, it’s always on the 1st Thursday of the month. All Dayton’s Bluff residents are welcome to attend. If you need more information email or call Karin at 651-772-2075.

Meet With the Police - Eastern District Meeting

   On Friday, November 16 the Eastern District Police will host their monthly meeting for community members. The meeting is intended as a time to listen to and address people’s concerns about crime and other issues on the East Side.
   The community meetings are held at the Eastern District police office at 722 Payne on the corner of Payne and Minnehaha Avenues on the third Friday of each month at 9:30 a.m.

Two Buzzards is Open for Business

Two Buzzard's owner Mike Fitzgerald
By Peter Breitholtz
   Low and slow IS the way to go according to Mike Fitzgerald, owner of Two Buzzards Restaurant, a “genuine hardwood smoked meats” joint on the East Side of Saint Paul, in Dayton’s Bluff at 1047 Hudson Road.  Besides smoked meats, Mike serves soups, sandwiches, wraps, and more.
   What sets Two Buzzards apart from many other barbecue restaurants in the Twin Cities is the time in which Mike allows the meats to cook.  The result is pulled pork that melts in your mouth and that has a very authentic and tasty smoked flavor.  Mike “serves ‘em proud” like many of the most noted BBQ houses in Texas. In other words, he serves the meat naked of sauce because it’s just that good. He takes pride in the quality of smoked meat created in his NFS rated smoker. But don’t get me wrong, Mike’s BBQ sauce makes any mouth water and is comprised of an original recipe he developed over many years of experimenting with and reading about recipes.
   Mike gives credit to The Barbecue! Bible written by Steve Raichlen and Margaret Chodos, The Spice and Herb Bible written by the Hemphill crew, and Bruce Aidells’ Complete Sausage Book.  These books have inspired Mike to create what he believes to be a perfect sauce for his smoked meats. Last year Mike competed against other meat-smoking connoisseurs, smoking his meat in a smoker that he built from scratch. His luck ran high in Luck, Wisconsin where he and his smoker finished 3rd place at the 3rd Annual Hogwild Amateur BBQ. Only two other smokers had “no-sauce ribs” that tasted better. Apparently folks at the Anoka County Fair voted his meat the “Best Fair Food” by word of mouth. 
   He’s been referred to by customers as simply “…a nice guy with great wings.” He has been smoking meat since the age of six when his dad inspired him to prepare meat over an open flame. Throughout Mike’s adult years he experimented with the wild game he hunted, preparing the meat in his homemade smoker. Hardwood smoked meats at Two Buzzards however includes hamburgers, two types of bratwurst, pork ribs, rib tips, chicken wings, and pulled pork.
   The restaurant is call-in-walk-in-take-out. But for those who would like to stay and perhaps wash down the savory meats with a cold beer, you can do so at Paul’s Lounge which is next door and served by Two Buzzards through a take-out window.
   Mike grew up all over Saint Paul and has spent the last nineteen years primarily on the East Side and is pleased and excited to have established a business in which he can share with other East Side folks his talent for smoking meat. His niece Alicia, brother Kevin, and sister Moira, have helped Mike get the business started and are helping it grow.
   The kitchen is immaculate and the service is fun and friendly. Around for just a month, Mike hopes business will begin to pick up as Dayton’s Bluff residents begin to discover his flavorful meats.  If anything, just stop in for a Jolly Rancher Slushy!
   Two Buzzards is Open Tuesday through-Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., but closes at 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

Anton in Show Business at Mounds Theatre in November

   Starting Gate Productions brings Anton in Show Business to the Mounds Theatre this November.
   Jane Martin’s Anton in Show Business takes the audience backstage in a fast-paced and remorseless look into the world of theatre. An all-female cast performs multiple roles (including men) in this meta-theatrical comedy about a self-centered television actress, a jaded New Yorker and an enthusiastic ingénue brought together for an ill-fated production of Anton Chekhov’s The Three Sisters in San Antonio, Texas.
   Anton skewers incompetent producers, idiot directors, surgically beautified actors, crass sponsors, self-important critics, and even such sacred topics as multiculturalism as it satirizes, celebrates, and challenges the importance of theatre as an art form today.
   This play is directed by Leah Cooper and features  Zoe Benston, Muriel Bonertz, Bethany Ford, Emma Gochberg, Leigha Horton, Tamala Kendrick, and Mo Perry. 
November 9 - December 2, 2007
Fridays - Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday Matinees at 2:00 p.m.
$18 general, $16 students and seniors.$10 for high school students.
Call for tickets 651-645-3503
   The Mounds Theatre is located at 1029 Hudson Road, St. Paul, MN 55106;; 651-772-2253

Greetings from the Council President

By Walter Waranka, District 4 Community Council President
   In past Forum issues I have stated that we should all try to do more and become more involved in our Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood.  I would take to share possible ways you can become a part of or work with the Dayton’s Bluff Council.
   Please consider this an open invitation to come participate with us.  One way is come to a Community Council meeting.  They are held every second and third Monday of the month at 798 E. 7th St.
   The first monthly meeting deals with housing and economic issues that concern our neighborhood. It is also where we consider zoning issues and variances that can make a big difference to the feel of the neighborhood where they would take place.  I feel this meeting is the one where you, as a neighbor and resident, can offer a lot of great questions, suggestions and ideas. The second meeting of the month is our business meeting in which we get reports on how we are doing and we discuss new and existing initiatives. It is also where we review other operational matters including finances
   The Council also has a number of committees.   You do not need to be a member of the Board to be on a committee.
   On the second Monday of the month before the general meeting, the Green Space committee meets at 6:00 p.m. This is a group  interested in helping keep our neighborhood clean and green. 
   On the third Monday of the month, before the business meeting, the Arts and Culture Committee meets at 6:00 p.m.  As their title suggests, they deal with ideas about bringing more opportunities for our area to grow by sharing the culture of our neighborhood.
   On every first Thursday of the month, usually at 6:30 p.m., a Community meeting is convened to discuss crime and housing  issues.  There is usually someone from city offices, or police department to help deal with these issues.
   These are just a few opportunities that your Community Council offers.  I hope this encourages you to think about giving your community a helping hand.
   Please consider this a personal invitation from me to come and join your neighbors in “Building up the Bluff.”
   Don’t hesitate to call our offices and talk to our staff.  There is more that we do and other ways you can become involved.  Call Karin at 772-2075.
   Thanks for reading this and I hope to see you at a meeting soon.


Holiday Craft and Bake Sale
Cerenity Senior Care - Marian of Saint Paul is holdiing itsr annual Craft and Bake Sale on Friday Nov. 16th from 10:00-3:00.  Come and brows and buy a variety of homemade goodies.  200 Earl St. (Near Mounds Park).  Call 651-793-2100 for more information.

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Contact Karin for more info at 651-772-2075

Dayton's Bluff Recycling Pick Up
Every Tuesday.  Have your recycling on the curb by 7:00 a.m. 
If you need recycling bins call 651-772-2075.

Knock, Knock! That's Opportunity Knocking!
Volunteer Editor needed for this paper. 
Call 651-772-2075

Watch the Glow Was Glowing Success

Naomi Chu, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Culture Center, describes their  plans to renovate some of the Hamm’s Brewery buildings.         Photo by Karin DuPaul

By Karin DuPaul
   The third annual “Watch the Glow of the Setting Sun on the Red Brick Brewery” event started in Swede Hollow Park on top of “Swede Hollow Henge” (the stones on the rise between the Drewry Lane Tunnel) around 6:00 p.m on September 28th. About thirty Friends of Swede Hollow members, neighbors, former Hamm’s brewery workers, former Swede Hollow residents, and others attended the event.
   Naomi Chu, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Culture Center, started off the evening with information about their wonderful plans to renovate some of the Hamm’s Brewery buildings into their culture center. The architect for the project was on hand to talk about the plans. Everyone was very impressed with the culture center and look forward to having them in the Hamm’s Brewery buildings.
   The celebration picnic followed the sun setting. The evening was filled with great Brewery and Swede Hollow stories, and music courtesy of Joe Sanchelli.
   The event was a great success with lots of great conversions and good food thanks to Andy Twedt, Morelli’s, Culver’s on Old Hudson Road, Rainbow on Arcade, and Cub in Sunray. Friends of Swede Hollow are already talking about next year’s “Watch the Glow”.

Got Curb Appeal?

By an East 5th Street Resident
   Your house looks just okay from the street, but you’d like people to go by and say “wow!”  How do you do that?  Here are some suggestions.
*Change the color of your front door; Burgundy, black, white, dark green or deep red are popular.
*Add shutters or repaint existing ones; usually the same color as the front door.
*Pressure wash the siding if it’s dirty.    *Paint the house or at least the trim; Color should work well with the shingle color.  Drive around to find color combinations you like.
*Add pots of flowers, bushes and shrubs (Best price now!)
*Trim existing shrubs.
*Add a wreath to the front door to welcome people.
*Add flowerboxes: Fill with evergreen branches in the winter.
*Add a large doormat by the front door.
*Add low voltage lighting by entrance.
*Add plastic edging around landscaped beds. Curved lines usually work best.
*Buy fresh woodchips for landscaped beds; deep colored chips available.
*Trim bottom branches from trees so house is visible from the street.
*Trim dead tree limbs or limbs that are close to roof.
*Mow the lawn, get rid of weeds and fill in any bare spots with seeds.
*Replace torn screens.
*Spray paint the mailbox.
*Replace hardware including door handle, kick plate and house numbers.
*Buy new lighting fixture at door entrance.
*If you have a front porch, lawn furniture is an inviting addition to the front porch.
*Clean windows; Make it sparkle.

What Do I Do With All Those Leaves?

“Ecologists say leaves, grass, and dog droppings pollute city lakes and rivers” - Fish and Wildlife Today webzine- Spring 1997
   Farmers and livestock operators tend to receive the bulk of blame for dirtying Minnesota’s lakes and rivers whose many virtues include providing habitat for fish and wildlife.  In some cases this criticism is justified. According to the federal Environmental Protection Agency, agricultural fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, and livestock waste are major contributors to water pollution. Yet what’s less known is that city folk do their share of mucking up lakes and rivers, too.
   The biggest problem, says Wayne Barstad, an ecologist with the DNR Ecological Services Section in St. Paul, is the buildup of organic materials such as leaves and grass clippings, which move from lawns to streets to gutters, and eventually flush untreated into lakes and rivers. 
   “As they decay, grass and leaves release phosphorous, which increases algae growth,” Barstad explains. “When algae populations explode, they form a scum that blocks sunlight from reaching plants.”  Barstad adds that when the algae die and decay, they use up oxygen needed by fish and other aquatic life.  “Organic material from yards is the number one pollutant in urban lakes,” Barstad says. “The cumulative effect is like a factory dumping waste right into the water.” Leaves and grass turn out to be as ecologically harmful as chemicals and other contaminants.
   Please be a good neighbor. When you put your leaves into the street, you increase pollution of stormwater, add to slippery street hazards in rain or snow, and make a big mess in front of your own house and the other homes on your block. So please find another solution for the leaves from your yard.
*Run the mower over them to mulch them in place, or
*Collect them and put them in your compost pile - Leaves make a good addition to your compost pile. Shredding is not required, but it may speed their rate of decomposition. Leaves are difficult to compost alone and will require extra nitrogen in the form of a commercial fertilizer (no weed ‘n’ feed products), or materials high in nitrogen such as grass clippings.  For more info visit
*Use as mulch around trees or in gardens – Leaves help retard the growth of weeds, help retain soil moisture, help maintain lower soil temperatures in the summer, and protect against temperature fluctuations.
*Bag them and arrange for your garbage hauler to pick them up, or
*Take them to a compost site. The Dayton’s Bluff site is located at Frank and Sims.  It’s open until Nov. 30 (weather permitting) Mon., Wed., & Fri. 11 am–7 pm, Sat.  9 am–5 pm. & Sun. 11 am–5 pm.

Glorious Food Giveaway

   The Food Giveaway takes place on the third Saturday of the month at Mounds Park United Methodist Church, Earl and Euclid Streets. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. The Food Giveaway is from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon.  Come and receive a free bag of food, no questions asked.
   Listen to music while you wait.  Communion is served at 10:00 a.m. for those who wish to participate.  Call the church at 774-8736 for more information. 

Parents Play a Role: Communicating with the  School and Supporting

Homework offers an opportunity for the child to consolidate knowledge while building the relationship with his parent. 
By Mary Ann Cogelow
   The role of parents in the school success of their school-age children is a huge and important role.  As I begin writing this article I have a three-inch deep stack of articles on the subject in front of me.  Clearly one could write a book, but given the limits of time and space, I’m going to limit myself to talking about two of the ways parents can support their children as students.
   One of these is by getting to know people at the school – most importantly the child’s teacher, but also the principal, the school secretaries, the custodians, the school nurse or any of the many others who interact with their child in the course of a day or a week.  Parents can take advantage of school special events and open houses to meet and introduce themselves to the school staff that interacts with their child.  They can ask the teacher how and when he or she would like to hear from the parent about things at home that might affect the child’s school life.  Parents need to share with teachers events in the child’s life that have the power to affect the child’s learning – the arrival of a new baby, the death of the family dog, a chronic health condition, anything that could affect the child’s ability to get the most out of life at school.  They can ask the teacher how she or he would prefer to communicate – with a note? call? email? brief meeting?
   Because parent teacher communication is such an important part of helping children achieve, the Saint Paul Public Schools have scheduled conference days in November and March.  At these conferences, the parent teacher team can meet and each member can share his or her expertise in figuring out how best to help the child learn and grow.  These conferences will probably be most effective if parent and teacher are already acquainted and have had some communication about the child. Parents should feel free to ask for a meeting before or after scheduled conferences if they are aware of concerns that need to be addressed so the child can do the best possible job of learning and growing.
   A second way of supporting children’s school success is to be a homework supporter.  It is worthwhile asking the teacher what he or she wants homework to accomplish. In my experience, parents almost always get to do some direct teaching while helping kids with homework.
     Here are a few teaching behaviors that parents may want to consider using in relationship to homework, but also in relationship to other non school learning:
*Believe your child has the ability to master every thing required in the curriculum and expect that it will happen.  Keep in mind, however, that different children have different learning styles and timetables. 
*Have conversations with the child about the subject you are exploring.  Encourage the child to ask questions about it.  When you are asking the child questions, frequently ask questions that have more that one answer or that require more than a “yes” or “no” answer. 
*Remember that children are highly concrete in their thinking for many years after they enter kindergarten.  When helping with things like math that ask children to use symbols (numbers), support them by giving them lots of opportunities to do the problem with real things.  For example, let kids work out 2 + 2 = 4 with Cheerios or little blocks.  When helping children learn about fractions, cut up an apple or a sandwich.
*When children come up with the “wrong” answer, try to figure out why they arrived at that conclusion.  For example, a child was told to circle all of the items on a worksheet that started with the “M” sound.  He did not circle the picture of a chop and the teacher  marked his omission “wrong.”   Acknowledging that the designer of the worksheet was thinking that the chop was “meat,” but that his answer was also correct was a more respectful and encouraging response.
*Understand that mistakes are part of learning and a part of being human.  Don’t lead children to believe that they need to be embarrassed or feel bad when they do “get it wrong.”  The ability to keep working to figure something out is essential. 
*Let kids know that you notice when they are making progress.  In this culture, we often act as though children have to have fully mastered an ability or skill before we can acknowledge it.  Feel free to celebrate children’s accomplishments, but remember also to honor the child’s ability to evaluate the achievement for himself.
*Find time to read.  Ask your child to read to you as he or she becomes able to do so, but keep reading to your child as well. 
*Be smart about the use of television. 
*Provide a regular place and time to do homework.  The place doesn’t need to be fancy – lots of people who started out doing homework on the kitchen table have gone on to earn advanced degrees.
*Keep in touch with your child’s teacher about the impact of homework on your child and your family.  Discussing your ideas about homework with your child’s teacher may improve the situation for your family and for other families as well.
   While all of this homework helping and talking to school personnel is happening, keep in mind that the main message your child needs to hear and believe is “I love you and I will always love you.”  Sometimes it’s hard to remember to act loving when we get focused on achievement.

Church Directory

Amazing Grace Assembly of God
1237 Earl St.
Sun 9:30 am - Sunday school all ages
Sun 10:30 am - morning Worship
Sun 6:00 pm - evening Worship

Hmong Asbury United Methodist  
815 Frank St.  

Bethlehem Lutheran Church  
655 Forest St.  
Sun 9:00 am - Morning Service
Sun 10:15-11:15 am - Sunday School & Bible Hour
Sun 11:15 - Hmong Service

Faith Temple - Templo De Fe
1510 Payne Ave
Sun 10:30 am - Spanish Bilingual Service
Sun 6:00 pm – Spanish Bilingual Service
Wednesday family night

First Lutheran Church ELCA
463 Maria 
St. Paul, MN 55106
1 block North of Metropolitan State University
Sun 8:00 am – Free Community Breakfast
9:30 am, - Worship service
Sun 10:45 am - Education for all ages
Handicapped accessible

Mounds Park United Methodist 
1049 Euclid St. 
9:15 am -  Sunday School, 4-year-old through Adult
10:30 am - Worship

Our Savior’s Lutheran  ‘LCMS’
674 Johnson Pkwy 
Sun only - 8am Worship, 9:20 education hour
Sun 10:45am - Worship

Sacred Heart Catholic Church  
840 E. 6th St.  
Sat 4:00 pm – Mass
Sun 9:00 am – Mass
Mon, Wed, Fri 8:00 am – Weekday Service

St. John’s Catholic Church
977 E. 5th St.  
Mon-Sat. 8:00 am – Mass
Sat 4:15 pm - Mass
Sun 9:00 am, 11:00 am - Mass

St. John’s Church of God in Christ  
1154 E. 7th St.  
Sun 9:30 am - Sunday School
Sun 10:45 am - Worship
Wed 7:00 pm - Bible Study

St. John Ev. Lutheran  
765 Margaret St.
Sun 9:30 am - Worship
Thurs 6:30 pm - Worship

Worship times are subject to change.  Please call ahead to confirm.

Road to Recovery

By Peter Breitholtz
   The road to recovery for many fortunate folks begins right here in the Dayton’s Bluff community. On Wakefield Avenue sit twin houses, home to groups of men and women being tested by the real world, fresh out of treatment for substance abuse. The two homes have existed in our community since January of 2005. Owner Callan Crawford provides living space for individuals in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse which collectively forms therapeutic communities.
   Currently, there are men and women living in the homes who normally reside in Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and Chicago.  Of course there are also a number of Minnesotans in both homes, both in-state and out-state. Twenty-eight day stays in Hazelden or other treatment facilities precede many of these individual’s journey at the Stepping Stone Recovery homes.
   These small dynamic communities are managed and supported internally. Live-in managers who are also in recovery keep residents on track by enforcing rules and inspiring residents to work a “strong program.” A strong program for a recovering individual includes keeping a clean room, carrying out weekly chores, holding a full time job, making meetings, maintaining contact with a sponsor, and doing service for other people in recovery.  Residents hold each other accountable by confronting each other at weekly meetings held in the house at which they “check in” with the group and voice concerns. 
   The Twin Cities has a rather large sober community and many sober homes. What sets the Stepping Stone Recovery homes apart from others in the Twin Cities is the high set of standards that are upheld within them. The homes are clean, warm, and friendly places, yet maintain a certain serious tone that is beneficial for people getting sober. They are sanctuaries of truth sustained by residents’ beliefs in a higher power and maintenance of a “strong program.”
   Organized fellowship also exists between the homes and the greater sober community in St. Paul.  Annually, the homes host a barbecue open to members of the Twin Cities sober community. This past May eighty five recovering individuals attended the barbecue at which there was an open discussion AA meeting held on the front lawn of the homes.
   The Stepping Stone recovery homes have truly a positive presence in our community. Besides supporting the local economy, residents often share fellowship with neighbors, and provide a good example of sober fraternity and simply sober living.

Dayton's Bluff History and How It Can Be Found on eBay (revisited)

Postcard showing downtown St. Paul from Dayton's Bluff, circa 1904.

By Steve Trimble
     Part of researching and writing history is looking for sources and, especially if the work is going to be published in a newspaper, trying to find something to illustrate the article.
    Many photos and other visual sources are found in libraries or archives. They can turn up at estate and garage sales. However, in this day of technological advances, researchers can sometimes find useful and unique items on-line. At a recent national historical association convention, someone even gave a paper on the historian and eBay.
     I thought it might be interesting to show a few of my own recent finds that illustrate some aspects of Dayton’s Bluff history and, while I’m at it, add a few bits of accompanying information.
     Postcards are probably the most frequently posted items that reflect our local history. There are usually a few each month of Indian Mounds Park. I already have most all of them, so they won’t be mentioned here.
     There were two postcards I didn’t have in my collection that I did win in the cyberspace auction. The oldest one was a view of downtown St. Paul from the top of the bluff probably near today’s overlook between Plum and Cherry Streets.
    It was what is called an undivided back, meaning you could only put an address and no message on the reverse side. This means the card was made sometime before 1907. The copyright on the printing said 1904, so it shows the city skyline a little over a century ago. It also has a nice view of the river flats below, showing the area that is now the Bruce Vento Nature area.

1936 postcard issued for St. John's Catholic Church Golden Jubilee
      The second card I bought is a little different. Rather than being made to sell to the general public, it had a more defined office. It is a shot of St. John’s Catholic Church and School with an insert of Rev. Louis Cornelis, St. John’s first pastor in 1886.
    It has an inscription on the front that says “Golden Jubilee”, 1886-1936. This of course refers to the fact that the church was celebrating a landmark fifty years of service in Dayton’s Bluff.
   I’d never seen this one before so I had to buy it for some local archives. Incidentally, if you want to find out much more about this still-operating institution, you should go to your October 2006 issue of the Forum and see editor Greg Cosimini’s article that detailed St. John’s first one hundred and twenty years.
  Now and then I wonder why I buy some things. Last month I saw a listing for a vintage matchbook. Yes, many people do collect them. Not me—at least normally. But this one was for one of the disappeared Bluff businesses. Mother’s Friend Laundry was located for several decades at 743 East Seventh Street.

    It catered to individual accouterments for washing, ironing and dry cleaning, but was probably placed strategically to get business from the nearby St. John’s Hospital. In fact, just before it closed its doors, it was called “Hospital Linen”.
    This paper fragment also speaks to our community women’s history. Numerous females were employed there, as was the case for almost all such establishments throughout the Twin Cities. As historians point out, for many years women’s work outside their homes reflected their traditional family roles.
     Taking care of children easily translated into teaching, caring for sick people in the home was similar to nursing outside of them.   Because of their sewing skills, many women worked as seamstresses while cleaning endless loads of family clothing developed skills that were often used in large laundries that started to appear in the late nineteenth century.
     The colorful matchbook, given to some customer years ago, has no date on it but the woman on the front, dressed in a sanitary looking white outfit, has a hairstyle that looks like it is from the 1930’s or 40’s. Perhaps some reader who is a collector might be able to date it.
    There are some nice photos of the business, including one of a group of women called the Mother’s Friend Laundry Carnival Club, all dressed up in what appear to be marching uniforms.  They are probably employees and are on their way to a Winter Carnival parade or similar event.
    Not a lot is currently known about the history of Mother’s Friend Laundry, but maybe other readers worked there or knew someone who did. Let us know if you have any information.
    Another somewhat unusual purchase a couple of months ago was a button, not the political type, but one that was created for a neighborhood special event. It is for the Dayton’s Bluff I.O.O.F Carnival. For those who are not so familiar with older fraternal organizations the letters stand for the International Order of Odd Fellows.

    They had a headquarters-pictured on the button-located near Reaney and East Seventh where they met and which was frequently rented out for community events.  I haven’t had time to find out about the carnival, but the notation “Aug 5-6-7, 09” is also on the front, so information should be fairly easy to find.  
    As some of you readers may recall, I am an avid collector of Minnesota cookbooks. I have donated almost three thousand to the Metropolitan State University Library, where they are now one of their special collections. So I usually see what is available on eBay, although with shipping costs, they are usually too expensive for my tastes—sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun.
    But not long ago up on the computer screen came a volume once sold by the St. John’s Hospital Women’s Auxiliary. I shared a recipe or two from another St. John’s cookbook, but this one was from 1953 and I couldn’t resist.
    Under the table of contents there is what they called a “Ladies’ Auxiliary Recipe,” somewhat like the “recipe for a good marriage,” or “recipe for a happy husband” that were often a humorous addition to such works. It starts out “First take a half day off to attend the auxiliary meeting. Then remove all traces of care and anxiety from your brow. Wash carefully, wipe dry and dress neatly.” It concludes a few sentences later with: “Cover the mass closely with charity, taking care that no malice gets in.”
    So here’s what you’ve been waiting for— a couple of recipes from the old cookbook. Since it was originally the German-Lutheran Hospital and, since by the time you read this the holiday season will be upon us, the first one should be quite appropriate:

German Anise Cookies

Beat 4 eggs 10 minutes
2 cups sugar to eggs and beat 5 minutes more.
½ tsp. salt.
2 ½ cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp. anise seed crushed
Beat 15 minutes
Grease and flour pans, drop small amount of dough on pan and let stand overnight. Bake 350 until light brown. They will like two cookies together. Use 3 or 4 cookie sheets, allow to spread. This is a Christmas cookie.

   A second recipe also sounds like a nice warming treat for this winter. At the time, I’m almost sure that they used Hamm’s, our famed local brew.

Beer Soup

1 pt. milk
1 oz. flour
1 pt. water
 ½ tsp salt
2 pts. good beer
2 eggs
3 oz. currants and a little cinnamon
    Mix all together except eggs in a deep kettle and let come to a boil, stirring all of the time to prevent curdling. Take off fire. Stir a little more and add the beaten whites of eggs.

   There you have it. A few new additions to our unofficial Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood archives. And in all, I doubt if I spent more than fifteen dollars. Would have spent that much going out to eat.
   If you want, send in your own best eBay East Side finds. But do me one favor. If you see that a Trimble is winning the auction, please don’t bid over me.

House for Rent
2 Bedroom, 1 Bath
 Single family house
364 Bates Avenue
Off-street parking, washer/dryer included.
Has back and front porches, both 3 season.
Available 11/1/07
$895.00 per month
Call: David 612-702-2747

School Building for Rent
The Church of St. John at 977 E. 5th St. has its school available for lease.
If interested, please contact Deacon Terry Schneider at 651-771-3690.

A Christmas Story Returns to Mounds Theatre

   A Christmas Story returns to the Mounds Theatre for the fourth year, live on stage this December for nine performances
   Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher and even Santa Claus himself, at Goldblatt’s Department Store, with the same and always consistent response: “You’ll shoot your eye out.” All the elements from the beloved motion picture are here, including the family’s temperamental exploding furnace; Scut Farkas, the school bully; the boys’ experiment with a wet tongue on a cold flagpole; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; Ralphie’s father winning a lamp shaped like a woman’s leg in a net stocking as a major award; Ralphie’s fantasy scenarios and more.
   Create or continue a holiday tradition at the Mounds Theatre.  A Christmas Story is appropriate for all ages.  Tickets to the play make a great gift for those “hard to buy for” individuals on your shopping list.  Purchase your tickets now.  Don’t delay and be disappointed. 
Fridays, Dec. 7, 14 & 21 and Saturdays, Dec. 8, 15 & 22 at 7:30 p.m.
Sundays, Dec. 9, 16 & 23 at 2:00 p.m.
   Ticket prices are  $15 Adults; $10 Student/Senior (55+); and $5 Children (12 and under).  Advance purchase group discounts are available.
   Visit for an order form or call 651-772-2253 and leave your name and number.  Someone will call you back to take your order.
   The Mounds Theatre is located at 1029 Hudson Road, St. Paul, MN 55106 one  half  block west of Earl St.

Past issues of the Dayton's Bluff District Forum


Past issues of the Dayton's Bluff District Forum