|Family friendly Dayton's Bluff Branch
Library opens for business
By Steve Trimble
|Saint Paul Mayor Randy Kelly,
shown here with Dayton’s Bluff Community Council member Sharon McCrea
(l) and Community Organizer Karin DuPaul (r), took a turn as a
celebrity reader and then entertained children with his guitar playing
and singing. Photo by Greg Cosimini
There was a lot of activity at 645 East Seventh Street on
Saturday, May 15th, as a new neighborhood institution was officially
launched. And, as one rock group once put it, “It’s been a long time
coming.” For the first time in anyone’s memory, Dayton’s Bluff
residents had easy access to a library.
It was not really the first time. Back in the day, as
young people say, there was a branch library for the general public at
Van Buren School, located on the grounds of today’s Dayton’s Bluff
Elementary. In the early years of the twentieth century, there were
several such branches.
The new library had actually opened its doors five days
earlier. The Saturday open house, labeled ”Kid’s Kick Off,” was an
event designed to showcase the new building and to preview a summer
reading program called “Track it Down At Your Library.”
According to the staff, the library has approximately
12,000 books and other materials, such as videotapes, DVDs and
magazines. The librarians said that they had assembled what they
called a “family-friendly” collection, with around 70% of the holdings
aimed at parents and children.
The Kick Off, which ran from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., was
filled with activities. The day started with area City Council member
Kathy Lantry taking a turn as a “celebrity reader,” followed by Library
director Gina La Force, who settled into the reading chair just before
Other activities featured the Teddy Bear Band, vocal
performances by Voce Fresca, a choral group and a visit by Mayor Randy
Kelly. The highlight, at least according to the many kids in
attendance, was Magical Mia. She performed a series of musical and
magical illusions using colorful butterflies and silk streamers.
What finally led to
the successful undertaking was the proposal for a unique
| Mixed in with
the noises of kids and visiting crowds was
the muffled sound of electric power tools. Even though the library is
open for business, a few areas still need finish work and molding was
being installed throughout the day. The community meeting room is not
yet completed and the homework center will not be opened officially
until next January. Until then, it will be a quiet spot for people to
read books and magazines.
So how, after decades of neglect, did the neighborhood
finally get a branch facility? A little background may be helpful.
Starting in the 1920s, the earlier-mentioned branch facilities in
schools were discontinued and neighborhood libraries were opened.
Except in Dayton’s Bluff, of course. The community was always told that
there was no need for one, since the downtown library was so close.
|A young Dayton’s Bluff resident, Dyamond
Jarrett, reads one of the new library’s new books.
||maybe, but not really
convenient. So for years, residents and their various groups,
including the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council, tried to convince city
officials of the need for a neighborhood library.
It seems that Metropolitan State University, which had
come to the Dayton’s Bluff area, had the dubious distinction of being
the largest such institution in the nation without a major library
building. Instead, the school mostly used inter-library loan programs
and electronic technology that drew on area library collections.
However, as the student body boomed, the University
decided to ask the Legislature to include a library for them in the
bonding bill. This is when the idea of having a building that housed
both a university and a community library surfaced. While the full
story is too long to include here, it can be said that it took a decade
of effort to overcome various legislative and financial barriers to
finally make the dream a reality.
A special library card will be issued for neighborhood
residents that will allow them to use some of the more than 100,000
items owned by Metropolitan State University. The Dayton’s Bluff
library will be open every day except Sunday. For information on hours
or other questions, call 651-793-1699 or visit www.stpaul.lib.mn.us.
There must have been several hundred people visiting
throughout the late morning and afternoon. The comments were all very
positive. While the small parking area was filled, many families were
seen arriving on foot and walking away with bulging book bags.
If the Saturday May 15th event is any indication, the
Dayton’s Bluff library will be a very positive and popular local
Many city library activities will now be easily accessible
to local residents. For example, Summer Reading Program
Performers will be at the library every Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.
starting July 7.
Neighborhood Sale and Car Wash
The Dayton’s Bluff Community Council will be
holding a Neighborhood Sale and Car Wash on Saturday, June 12. The
Neigh-borhood Sale is from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Hamm Park, located at
East 7th Street and Greenbrier. The Dayton’s Bluff Car Wash is from
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Budget Tire Shop at 705 East 7th Street.
The Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood Sale will feature many great
items for the home and family. This is an open event, and if you have
something to sell, each family participating is asked for a $10
donation to help cover advertising and other expenses. For those who
are selling items, set up in Hamm Park at East 7th and Greenbrier is at
8:00 a.m. on the 12th.
Or if you have items you want to get rid of and do not
want to spend the day selling, donate them to the Dayton’s Bluff
Community Council and they will sell them as part of their fundraiser.
This is a great way to clear out clutter and find new treasures. Come
meet your neighbors! Call the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council at
651-772-2075 for more information.
Enter Dayton's Bluff garden
Greening Dayton’s Bluff will hold a garden contest this
summer. Be on the look out for outstanding gardens in your area. Then
either email Karin@DaytonsBluff.org or send your nomination to:
Dayton’s Bluff District Forum, 798 East 7th Street, Saint Paul MN
55106. Include the address, name of the gardener, description of
garden, your phone number and the phone number of the gardener. The
judging will be in the late summer.
Home Tour was a big success
We are also looking for judges for the garden
contest. If you are interested call Karin at 651-772-2075.
The weather was great and hundreds of people visited Dayton’s Bluff
during the Home Tour and marveled at the beautiful homes and great
people in our neighborhood.
|Volunteers help out at one of
the homes on the 2004 Dayton’s Bluff Home Tour. Left to right:
DuPaul, Carla Riehle, Colleen Ashton and Susan Rust. Photo by
Homeowners mentioned that they were very happy about
meeting neighbors who they did not know before the Home Tour. Home Tour
highlights included the Arts and Craft show at the Mounds
Theatre. Thank you to everyone who helped make the tour a great
This year the Minneapolis – St. Paul Home Tour was
sponsored by the Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP).
The City of Saint Paul did not sponsor it as in past years. Brett from
the NRP called the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council and asked us to
participate in the tour. We were very happy to be able to be part of
the Home Tour once again. Brett and his co-workers were very helpful in
making this a great event. We are looking for homes to be on the tour
next year. If you have any ideas call Karin at 772-2075.
A Grocery Give-Away will take place on Saturday, June 19 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at
Mounds Park United Methodist Church,
Euclid and Earl. Free produce, dry goods and bread items will be
given to anyone who can use them. No registration or sign-up is
Sponsored by United Methodist churches on St. Paul's east side.
Landscape Ecology Awards
LEAP into spring and nominate yourself or a
neighbor for encouraging nature in the yard!
The Landscape Ecology Awards Program (LEAP) was developed
by the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District to recognize local
landowners, including private residences as well as public and
commercial properties that use good land management practices to
preserve and improve water quality and natural resources.
Top properties are ones that use Minnesota native plants
in the landscape to create buffers and natural habitats, have areas
where rainwater is infiltrated, and require limited use of fertilizers
Winners will receive an attractive sign to be placed on
their property, a plaque, a gift certificate for native plants, and
recognition in local newspapers and on the District website.
Applications are due July 1st. Winners will be selected in
mid-September. To obtain an application or to learn more about good
land management practices, please visit www.rwmwd.org
or call Bill Bartodziej at 651 704-2089.
Johnson Brothers site
senior housing project to begin soon
Construction on the new senior housing project on the old
Johnson Brothers site at 1145 Hudson Road should start around July
The project consists of a four-story apartment building to
be built on 4.5 acres of land, with 160 independent senior housing
rental units. The new development will include 109 underground heated
parking spaces, 51 surface parking spaces, elevator, laundry facility
and common gathering space. Another amenity is the open space adjacent
to the new building.
The apartment building will have one and two bedroom
affordable and market rate apartments.
Hauser Dance in Concert at
June 26 - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 27 - 2:00 p.m. (matinee)*
Theatre, 1029 Hudson Road, St. Paul, MN 55106
admission $5.00; Children, seniors & students free
- (612) 871-9077; Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
* An ASL interpreter will be available at the Sunday 2:00 p.m.
Hauser Dance in Concert is both fresh and unique with a
wide range of original choreography by Artistic Director Heidi Jasmin.
The concerts are an exciting conclusion to a two-week residency in the
Dayton’s Bluff area, which is partially funded by St. Paul Companies,
Inc. Foundation and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council from an
appropriation by the Minnesota Legislature.
The concert includes Ms.Jasmin’s “Suite Byrd” as a
memorial to her friend Charlie Byrd. The three pieces are performed to
his lyrical and jazzy guitar music. Her humorous work “Tongues” is a
wild trio to the raw and gutsy sounds of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. The
eerie solo created for dancer John Agurkis titled “Framed”, with music
by the modernist composer George Crumb, is one of Ms. Jasmin’s most
dramatic works to date. Company members will also do a group
Ms. Jasmin will offer a lively pre-show talk about how to
view dance, and the concert will be followed by a question and answer
session with the dancers and audience members. Diversity and
imagination have always been emphasized in the Hauser aesthetic
bringing contrast and variety to all of their programs.
For two weeks preceding the concert series Hauser Dance is
excited to be offering scholarships to children and teens for community
workshops taught by Heidi Jasmin, Jane Kahan and Maxine Hughes at
Dayton’s Bluff Elementary School. Those students will also perform a
short piece in the company concerts.
Dayton's Bluff Take a Hike
Dayton’s Bluff Take a Hike meets on the first
Saturday of every month at 10:30 a.m. in Indian Mounds Park at Earl
Street and Mounds Blvd. Join us on June 5 for the next hike.
We hike from Mounds Park through Swede Hollow Park and
then walk the length of the Bruce Vento Recreational Trail to its end,
near Phalen Park.
The hike is about 6 miles with some moderately rough
terrain. Trans-portation will be available near Johnson Parkway
and Maryland to return to Mounds Park or you may hike back if you
Join recreational trail supporters and explore this
recreational trail. The paved trail runs from East 7th Street and Payne
Avenue through Swede Hollow to Phalen Park. Dayton’s Bluff Take a Hike
started in December of 1990 and over the years hundreds of people have
attended these events.
For more info, call 776-0550.
|Dayton’s Bluff Community
Council members Chris Geurts (l) and Jacob Dorer (center) look over
surplus plants at the recent Plant Swap held in the gardens near the
Swede Hollow Cafe. Photo by Karin DuPaul
Coming to the Mounds
CLIMB Theatre, the area’s premier traveling children’s
theatre company, has partnered with the Mounds Theatre to offer an arts
experience that your child will never forget!
There are two one-week sessions. Register for one or
both. Camps run from 9a.m.- 4p.m. during the weeks of July
5th-9th and August 2nd-6th. The camps are open to children in
grades K-6. The cost is $75. Financial aid information is
available. Campers must bring their own sack lunch.
Young artists explore the performing, visual, and literary
arts through drama, music, dance, story making, painting, drawing, and
more. Whole-brain learning at its best that connects a single
theme to a full week of discovery! Maximum attendance is 75 youth.
For more information or to register, call Shad (651)
453-9275 Ext 10.
First up is the play “The Night Larry Kramer Kissed
Me.” It will be offered on June 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 24 and
25 at 8 p.m. and on June 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. All tickets $15.
Then on June 5th at 2:00 p.m., the movie “D-Day: The True
Glory” will be shown. Tickets are $9 at the door, $8 in advance and $7
each for advance group sales of 10 or more.
Saturday June 12th brings a benefit concert for the Mounds
Theatre featuring Porkchop and Los Sneetchez. The concert will
run from 7 to 11 p.m. with a ticket price of $6 at the door.
Finally, Hauser Dance in Concert will be presented on June
26 and 27. See the article on page 2 of the Forum for details.
Contact the Mounds Theatre for more intormaton at 651
772-2253 or visit www.MoundsTheatre.org.
Bruce Vento Nature
By Sarah Clark
The 27-acre floodplain at the foot of Dayton’s Bluff is in
the midst of being transformed into the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary,
Saint Paul’s newest park. Land for the sanctuary was purchased in
November 2002, and a community partnership known as the Lower Phalen
Creek Project has been working with Saint Paul Parks and Recreation on
a multi-year effort to clean up soil contamination, document cultural
and historic resources on the land, and restore the area’s native
wetland, forest and prairie ecosystems.
Thanks to a variety of grants, including $400,000 from the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, soil remediation work is slated
for completion this spring. Restoration activities are now
beginning, starting with work on an area outside the boundaries of the
sanctuary — Indian Mounds Park.
Bluff restoration begins
Invasive buckthorn has long plagued the Mounds Park
overlook area. This exotic plant chokes out native vegetation and does
not have the long root systems needed to stabilize soil. The City of
Saint Paul and the Lower Phalen Creek Project are currently working on
restoring the Mounds Overlook bluff by removing buckthorn and
replanting the native bedrock bluff prairie. The goal of this effort is
to stabilize the bluff so it does not continue to erode soil into the
wetland area being created on the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary below.
The restored prairie will also provide excellent habitat for the many
birds that use the Mississippi River as a migration corridor.
Buckthorn removal was started in early April and
restoration work will continue through the spring. With the buckthorn
down, the area may look stark to some people. However, once
restoration is completed, nearby residents and visitors will enjoy
improved views of the Mississippi River valley and the sight of
beautiful prairie flowers.
Summer plans feature youth
Conservation Corps, wetland planting
Restoration work on the sanctuary itself is also being
launched this year. In late spring, the land will be “rough
graded” for the wetland, trails and other features that will one day
make the sanctuary a prime destination for visitors from the East Side,
Lowertown and from all around the Twin Cities. Crews from the
Community Design Center’s East Side Youth Conservation Corps will be
spending much of their summer on the sanctuary, removing buckthorn and
garlic mustard, and planting the new wetland area with vegetation
provided by grants from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
and Minnesota Environmental Initiative.
Coming this fall — an innovative
acorn collection project
As part of the restoration work, the Lower Phalen Creek
Project is launching a fun, educational project that will involve
schools in restoring the burr and pin oak communities on the
sanctuary. Project partners are reaching out to schools on the
East Side, in downtown and throughout the metro area to lend a hand by
collecting acorns from selected parks and natural areas, packing the
acorns in wet sand and taking part in an acorn planting event on the
sanctuary in spring 2005.
For more details on these activities, or to get the latest
information on the sanctuary’s transformation, visit www.phalencreek.org,
or leave a message for the Lower Phalen Creek Project staff at
651/771-1152, extension 132.
Dayton's Bluff Rec Center
This is a partial list of activities. For a complete
list and more information and registration visit the Dayton’s Bluff
Recreation Center at 800 Conway St., call 793-3885 or visit http://www.ci.stpaul.mn.us/depts/parks.
PARENT & TOT PLAY TIME (Ages 5 & under)
Mon., Wed. & Fri.’s; 10 am - 12 noon; Free; On-going
RUN, JUMP & THROW
(Ages 3-5 yrs.)
Mon., June 21-July 25; 11 am - 12 pm; $12; 6 sessions
MOVIES FOR TINY TODDLERS (Ages 2-5 yrs.)
Tues., June 22; 10:30 am - 12 pm; Free; 8 sessions
THE BLUFF WIND ENSEMBLE (Ages. 11-18 yrs.)
Tues., June 22; 6 - 7 pm; $16; 8 sessions
BABYSITTING JOB FAIR
(Ages 11 & up)
Wed., June 9; 6:30 - 7:30 pm; Free
CHILDREN’S CREATIVE MOVEMENT CAMP
(Ages 7-12 yrs.)
Mon.-Thurs., June 14-24; 1 - 2:30 pm; Free; 8 sessions; Limit 10
DANCE FOR TEENS
(Ages 13-17 yrs.)
T/Th, June 15/17; 5 - 6 pm; Free; 4 sessions; Limit 15
YOUNG AMERICA SCHOOL SELF DEFENSE / CHEER AMERICA
(Ages 5 & up)
Cheerleading: Mondays, June 14
Self Defense: Wednesdays, June 16
8 weeks; $5/week
HOME SAFETY TALK (8-14 yrs)
Th, June 24; 6:15 - 7:15 pm; Free
MOVIE THEME WEEKS
M-Th ; 3 - 5 pm; Free
June 14-17: Mice week
June 28-July 1: Sports week
ADULT CO-REC KICKBALL
Wed., June 16; 6:15 - 7:15 pm; $50/team; 6 weeks
Mon., June 21; 6:30 - 8 pm; Free; 8 weeks
DANCE FOR THE AGELESS
T/Th, June 15/17; 6:30 - 7:30 pm; $16; 4 sessions; Limit 20
OVER 40 CO-REC VOLLEYBALL
Tues, June 8; 11:30 am - 2 pm; $1wk; 10 weeks
Fri.’s; 6 - 8:45 pm; $1/wk; On-going
MOVIES OF THE PAST
Tues., June 15; 12:30 - 2:30 pm; Free; 10 weeks
(Ages 9-14 yrs.) .
Tues., June 22; 6 - 8 pm ; $6; 6 sessions
Grades K-5 (’03-’04 school year)
Thurs., June 24; 10 - 10:55 am - grades K-2; 11 - 11:55 am - grades
3-5; $9; 6 sessions
MUSICAL PRODUCTION OF “DAMN YANKEES”
Wed., June 23; 6:30 pm; Free
WATERWORKS WATER PARK at Battle Creek Regional Park
Fri., June 18; 10 am-3 pm; Fee: $6
ROLLERSKATING AT WOODDALE
Fri., June 25; 12-3:30 pm; Fee: $6
Memorable Minnesota Meals
- Part II: More about Hot Dish and Booya
|Neighbors at a recent Beech
Margaret/654 Block Club pot luck dinner line up for, you guessed it,
hot dish. Sorry, no booya today. Photo by Karin Du
By Steve Trimble
The hot dish saga
started in last month’s issue concludes and the story of booya is
The hot dish tradition is very flexible and even ethnic
foods have been assimilated. Along with noodles, “Italian Hot Dish”
includes oregano, mozzarella cheese and a jar of Ragu Spaghetti Sauce;
“Mexican Hot Dish” has hamburger, bacon, two cans of tomato soup and
two teaspoons of chili powder; “German Hot Dish” contains hamburger,
onions, rice and sauerkraut; “Polish Hot Dish” is made of chicken,
celery, mushroom soup and, of course, one package of cooked Polish
Hot dishes have continued to change as new food products
and new technologies are introduced. Spam came onto the market in the
1930s and by the 1940s often appeared as a hot dish ingredient. Another
important kitchen landmark occurred in 1954 when “tater tots” were
invented and soon appeared in hot dishes. Today you can find
vegetarian mixtures, and recently a publication even had a recipe for
Tofu Potato Hot Dish made with garlic and two packages of soft-pressed
Today, hot dish has emerged as a symbol of Minnesota.
Books of hot dishes and even hot dish mysteries have been published.
Garrison Keillor convinced people from all over the country to come to
a hot dish supper. As part of his inaugural festivities, Governor
Jesse Ventura held a potluck lunch and asked supporters to bring a hot
Perhaps the last word should be given to Howard Mohr, the
author of How to Talk Minnesotan. “You will sooner or later come face
to face with Minnesota’s most popular native food, hotdish,” he says
with his characteristic gentle humor. “It can grace any table....Hot
dish is constructed on a base of canned cream of mushroom soup
and canned vegetables. The other ingredients are as varied as the
On almost any fall weekend as you drive around the Twin
Cities, you can see somewhat cryptic signs like “Booya... Sunday
...Highland Park.” Since there are many non-Minnesotans here, I should
probably answer the question “what in the world is booya?” before
trying to explain how it became another part of our state’s food
The word booya means both a thick stew and an event,
sponsored as a fundraiser by churches or other local
organizations. For a booya, people gather the day before to cut
up huge amounts of meat and vegetables that will be put into in one or
more 60-gallon kettles. Men take shifts cooking and stirring throughout
the night. At a critical point, a bag of secret spices tied in a cloth
bag is lowered into the pot on a string. The next day, usually around
noon, people show up to buy the booya and socialize.
A harder question to answer is how did it become a state
food tradition? Few people attending Minnesota booyas are
aware that several other places consider this food to be their own. The
Dictionary of American Regional English offers several spellings and
says the derivation is from the Canadian French word for broth and soup
(p. 340). America Cooks agrees and says, “hunters in the Michigan
woods practically live on a kind of hunter’s stew, variously
called ‘Boulyaw’, ‘Bouyou’ or ‘Booyah.’ Cut up whatever
meat is available, directions say, add water, either salt pork or
bacon, onions and any vegetables, except the cabbage family. Cook all
day, if possible, on the back of the stove.”
But there are other explanations. One of the strongest
contenders are the French-influenced Belgian Walloons of Wisconsin who
claim booyah- spelled with an “h” on the end-belongs to them. In fact,
food historian Therese Allen relates that several different families
told her that it was one of their relatives who invented the dish.
According to one story, a teacher in a one room school
suggested they have a fund raising picnic in 1906, and “it was decided
that a thick chicken soup (known as chicken bouillon)... would be
offered for sale. He went to put an ad in a paper and supposedly
was asked how the word “bouillon” was spelled. Not knowing how to
read French, he spelled it as it sounded, b-o-o-y-a-h, and that’s the
way it has been ever since.”
Apparently there is some form of booya in Canada and there
are references to a food, though not an event, called bouya among the
Cajun and Creole populations in Louisiana. The dish must be good,
because I found an Internet ad for a Hawaiian restaurant named the
Rusty Harpoon offering “their famous Louisiana Cajun-style bouya.”
So how did booya get to this state? Even within Minnesota
there are various ethnic groups claiming they brought it. The 1938 WPA
Guide to Minnesota, referring to St. Cloud, says, “those of Polish
descent in the western part of the city, delight in colorful church
festivals at which they feast on bouja (meat and vegetable stew) of
An Internet booya recipe explanation makes a further
claim: “This dish came from Poland and has been part of Central
Minnesota’s tradition since the depression when churches began serving
it, partly to make a little money and partly to help feed people well
A Duluth cookbook disagrees, telling its readers
that: “This is a very rich, thick vegetable soup made on the Iron
Range for many years by immigrants of Finnish background. It was
traditionally made at the end of the summer when the garden vegetables
However, advertisements for the New Prague Heritage Days
speaks of traditional Czech foods, including potato dumplings with
sauerkraut, and booya. They are backed up by a contributor to a 1958
Minnesota state centennial cookbook, who said: “a top favorite would be
the booya or “Vomachka” as we Bohemians call it, made from the gizzards
of hearts and ducks.”
I am convinced that there must be a connection between
these various booyas. The spellings are too similar to be a
coincidence. But I am not convinced that they got their name from the
French word for boil. I think that it more likely derives from
bouillabaisse—a French stew of fish that was also popular in Belgium. A
less expensive version was made with chicken— thus the Belgian “chicken
booyah.” The Belgians who came to Wisconsin probably interacted
with Czech and Polish immigrants located in the same region. I
have seen one reference saying the Belgians learned polka from the
Czechs and they, in turn, discovered and adapted booya. French
immigrants moved into Canada—and then south to Michigan.
Immigrants came to Louisiana from Canada and France itself, possibly
accounting for the Creole and Cajun connections.
Do I have proof to back up common sense? Not a lot yet,
but let me offer two fragments. A 1916 St. Olaf College cookbook had a
page of what they called “common French cooking terms.” Among them was
“Bouille—A stew.” Also, in 1940 the Baltimore Sun attempted to
figure out the origins of booyah and they decided it was “a corruption
and shortening of the French bouillabaisse.” Obviously, further
research is needed.
One side note: online research on booya has become very
complicated because of a new addition to youth slang. Many of
them now write or shout “booya” which for them means-roughly
translated- “in your face.” The keyword booya now brings up
hundreds of references, including one rock band. I contacted the
booya.com site and the Webmaster said it had nothing to do with food.
He added that if there were a Minnesota food company that made it, he
would be willing to sell the domain name.
There is hope for those who hunger for the taste of booya
after the fall events are over. I found booya recipes in
several Minnesota cookbooks. The Sokol Cookbook, a publication of
a St. Paul Czech and Slovak group, has “Backyard Booya.” It
contains soup bones, neck bones, stewing chickens and oxtails, with a
mixture of vegetables, including cabbage.
Kitchen Creations, a 1981 suburban Eagle’s Club cookbook,
had two recipes for booya. The first was said to make 10 to 15 quarts;
the second, with its 25 stewing hens, 20 pounds of beef and at least 10
pounds of soup bones, a cabbage and a rutabaga would serve a hundred.
Both of them followed the tradition of putting pickling spices in a
cloth or cloth bag and lowering it into the kettle on a long string.
Whatever its origin, booya is a celebrated part of the
state’s food heritage. As one Minnesota folklorist puts it: “Booya
stands in a class by itself, distinguished not only by the food but
also by certain traditions: the way the basic recipe is handed down,
the secrecy of the vital seasonings, methods of preparation and
specialized gender and age
But its importance may be best shown in a September 2001
obituary of a man who lived in the St. Cloud area. It read: “Othmar was
a member of St. Joseph’s Church... where he served for many years as an
usher, was a member on the cemetery board, and helped prepare booya.”
Little questions about big
issues - Part II: Energy and the Economy
By Eugene Piccolo
Energy - Is Clean Energy and a
Municipal Owned Utility in Saint Paul’s Future?
While the President and Congress continue debating a
National Energy Policy ... for three years and counting … folks at City
Hall and in other quarters have begun a serious discussion about Saint
Paul’s energy future.
One of the events generating the discussion is the June
2006 expiration of the franchise agreement between the City of Saint
Paul and Xcel Energy. The franchise agreement spells out the terms that
Xcel is expected to meet for being the ‘sole provider’ of electric and
natural gas service to the residents and businesses in Saint Paul.
The expiration of the franchise agreement and a recently
commissioned study by the City Council “to review and analyze the
City’s energy plan and activities” provide the opportunity for
questions to be raised about the energy future of the city.
Should Saint Paul create a municipal (citizen) owned electric and/or
natural gas utility rather than renegotiating a new franchise agreement
with Xcel Energy?
should be the sources of our energy for Saint Paul - clean and
renewable energy like wind, solar, bio-mass, etc. or traditional energy
from coal and nuclear, etc.?
To learn more about clean energy and the idea of a
municipal owned utility in Saint Paul contact: www.Clean-Energy-Now.org.
The Economy – Is a decent
standard of living possible for all Minnesotans?
If you watch CNBC or listen to most economists and
politicians you would think the economy was: the Dow-Jones average, the
GDP (Gross Domestic Product), foreign trade balances, the prime rate,
bond yields, futures trading or quarterly earnings estimates of
For most folks, however, the economy is a little more
tangible and real. It is about having a decent paying job, paying the
rent/mortgage and the auto loan, being able to afford health, child
care and gas, putting food on the table and paying for all the things
that have become “necessities” of life in American society and putting
a little aside for the future. In other words - it’s about having a
decent standard of living.
The recent report, WORKFORCE FIRST, released by Growth
& Justice, a think tank for Minnesota economic policy that focuses
on what works, not political ideology, defines the most important
economic question facing Minnesota as:
can the Minnesota economy continue its enviable record of superior
growth, while dramatically increasing the number of Minnesota workers
who can support their families on their incomes?
The report states: “ Despite an enviable track record of
outperforming the nation’s economy, Minnesota still has too many
workers in low-wage jobs who cannot support their family at a
basic-needs level.” According to the report the best route to economic
growth and decent standard of living is through more education and
skills training. It proposes that the state make a major commitment to
raising the number of Minnesotans with “ post-secondary degrees or
market-driven skills training” – an additional 250,000 people over the
next 10 years..
To learn more about how Minnesota can make a decent
standard of living possible for all Minnesotans while achieving
economic growth and economic justice contact: Growth & Justice at
612 872.1460 or at www.growthandjustice.org.
Increasing gas prices are
wake-up call for Minnesota
By State Representative
The news last week that gas prices are expected to rise
and then stay at record levels over the summer should not come as a
shock to anyone. After all, we’ve been hearing for years that the
days of cheap gas and, by extension, cheap energy, are over and that
our energy future is going to be more expensive.
What’s troubling, however, is how little we’ve done to
address this issue. For years, energy experts have been warning us
about the shrinking supplies of fossil fuels and the need for
alternative sources of energy. The problem is that their warnings have
fallen on deaf ears. Or maybe just indifferent ears.
Hopefully, this latest spike in fuel prices will change
that. The root causes aren’t going to go away. This time, the spike is
being caused by a cutback in oil production from OPEC and a refinery
fire in Texas. However, market manipulation isn’t going to disappear in
the future because there’s not a lot we can do to prevent it, outside
of reducing our demand for oil. And that’s not going to happen until we
find alternatives to oil and get serious about conservation.
The good news is that we’re closer than we think to
finding legitimate alternatives to foreign oil. Emerging technologies,
many of which would utilize products and resources grown here in
Minnesota, offer the potential to provide our state with most of our
energy needs by the year 2020. These new technologies would also do it
in way that would allow Minnesota’s economy to remain competitive with
the rest of the world.
However, if we’re to have any hope of reaching that goal,
we need to act now. The first step will be to develop an energy policy
for the state that will emphasize locally-derived and locally-developed
energy sources to meet nearly all of Minnesota’s future energy needs,
something we don’t have. The goal of the policy should be to generate
50 percent of Minnesota’s energy needs from sources native to the state
by 2010, and the vast majority of our energy needs from Minnesota
resources by 2020.
The hardest part of putting together a coherent and
workable policy will be marshaling the public will necessary to commit
to it. That will take visionary leadership, something in short supply
in this state.
I also think it would be in our state’s best interest to
give priority to resources derived from agricultural production or
those found in rural Minnesota, such as alternative fuels like E-85
ethanol-gas and biodiesel made from soybean oil, methane-from-waste,
biomass fuels, and further development of solar and wind power. That’s
key because the answers to our energy needs don’t lie in building more
large coal- and nuclear-fired power plants. Rather, we need to focus on
energy resources of our own
Conservation also needs to be part of the solution;
otherwise we’ll never get there. The first step in this area would be
to free up more generating capacity by embarking on an aggressive
energy conservation campaign.
Right now, Minnesota is at the end of the energy pipeline.
As long as that is the case, we will continue to be held hostage to
energy supplies in the Persian Gulf, Texas oilfields, and the Alaskan
However, if we begin today, we can put Minnesota on the
right path to energy independence so that future generations won’t have
to lurch from energy crisis to energy crisis as we have been doing for
the past 20 years.
New wave of Hmong
refugees, Part II: More Hmong culture and etiquette
By Nachee Lee, Executive
Director, Dayton’s Bluff Community Council
According to the Pioneer Press, Mayor Kelly announced that
there might be as many as 5,000 new Hmong refugees coming to Minnesota
beginning this summer. Anyone who is new to the Hmong, or has
forgotten about their first experience with Hmong refugees in the early
1980s, might be interested in learning a few things about the culture
of our soon-to-be new neighbors.
Many of the new Hmong families will go through a period of
cultural shock and homesickness. Some will often wear light
clothing, even in winter, which may appear unusual to many Minnesotans,
because they are used to a hot and tropical climate where their
everyday clothing is shorts, t-shirts, and sandals. Many of them
are not used to constantly wearing tennis shoes and boots, having
children’s skins fully clothed, having diapers on children, and keeping
their children inside the house or back yard most of time. They never
experienced having playgrounds and parks in which children can play.
Again, here are more tips about Hmong etiquette.
It is very common for Hmong families to visit one another
without setting up an appointment. Sometimes a family will just show up
at the door without warning and expect a warm welcome. It is considered
rude and inappropriate to tell the visiting family that you do not have
time for their visit.
When it comes to most decision-making, it might take a
Hmong person a while to come up with a response to a particular
situation. Usually the father makes most of the decisions for the
family. But sometimes the male head of the immediate household may
involve relatives, including uncles, cousins, or even clan leaders in
important decisions. Before making a decision, most Hmong elders like
to receive a second opinion. This is because they do not want to be
held solely accountable for what might turn out to be a wrong decision
When dealing with a Hmong family, confidentiality is
considered to be a very important issue. However, within the family
itself, confidentiality may not be thought of as all that important.
Family members share their experiences and quite often seek support
from one another.
Most traditional Hmong elders, especially men, do not want
strangers and/or women to touch their heads, or those of their
children, due to their religious beliefs and personal values.
Most traditional Hmong men take on an adult name after
they are married and have their first child. The adult name, “Npe
Laus”, is added to the first name. It is intended to signify the
maturity of the person. After the naming, it is thought that the
recipient will be blessed with good fortune. Most Hmong men prefer to
be called by their adult name. It is common for Hmong men and women to
have the same names.
Before entering a Hmong home, always ask the person who
opens the door if visitors are allowed to enter the house.
Traditional family have a shaman perform a ritual called, “Ua Neeb
Caiv” or “Caiv”, where a woman has just given birth to a newborn.
This means visitors are not allowed to enter
the house or wear shoes and carry handbags when entering the house, in
the case of a newborn, due to traditional belief.
Also, watch for a taboo sign set on a stick in front of
the Hmong door. This sign usually looks like a cross with some
live green leaves, or sometimes just a bunch of green leaves.
Usually, there is a white and black woven octagon shaped basket made of
bamboo or plastic with the green leaves. When you see this sign,
do not knock or enter the house; just simply leave. This means
that no visitor may enter the house or disturb the family; the house is
protected from bad spirits. They are afraid that inviting you in
might invite bad spirits in as well.
Hmong, especially elders, often perceive police officers
as bad news and scary authority. When an officer knocks on the
door, they will often panic. Most of the time they will not let
the police officer enter their house. They would first like to consult
with their relatives, especially a clan leader or someone who has
knowledge of the legal system. Most of all, they will hesitate to
say anything or will not respond to any questions. They are
afraid of giving wrong information especially if their English is
Thanks to my readers for sharing their insights and
The Clothes Line - June Wedding
|Cristy’s Bridal at
St. is next door neighbor to the Polish American Club, a longtime
favorite location for East Side wedding receptions and other
celebrations. Photo by Sarah Ryan
By Sarah Ryan
I’ve never been to a wedding at which no one
has cried, fainted, had fun at the reception, or taken pictures. I did
all of those things at my sister Mary’s first wedding 17 years ago this
month. My older sister and I wore pink bridesmaids’ dresses with
dropped waists and square-cut necklines. A friend of my Mom’s made all
of our dresses on her home sewing machine. Two months later, Mary had
her first baby. This August she’s expecting twins.
I don’t know anyone who’s getting married this June, but
it’s busy season at Cristy’s Bridal. I recently picked up one of their
fliers at the Rainbow grocery store. The leaflet advertises “tailoring
y alteraciones” for special occasions, accessories, and gifts.
Bell-shaped gowns trimmed with beaded brocade, bows, lace,
and tiny fabric flowers fill Cristy’s storefront window. Beneath the
pink neon OPEN sign the dressmakers have arranged children’s formalwear
around a wedding bouquet of cream-colored satin rose buds. The flower
girl’s dress has a little cape; the ring-bearer’s tiny tuxedo has white
satin lapels and a matching pleated cummerbund.
Adriana, her mother Cristina, and her grandmother, also named
Cristina, are Cristy’s Bridal at 995 Arcade. I met Adriana and her
mother when I brought in some jeans that were too long. After Adriana
pinned my pant hem, she agreed to answer a few of my questions. Before
Cristina left, her daughter and I sat in the comfortable couch and
chair near the front of the shop. I asked them if they were busy this
time of year. The mother and daughter smiled at each other, then looked
at me. “Yes. This is a busy time of year,” Adriana said.
Why are there so many June weddings? Either the answer is
obvious or Adriana is as baffled as I am. She smiles broadly. “I don’t
know. It’s summertime. There’s nice weather.” Orders start in February,
Adriana explains, because a customer plans on three fittings before her
dress can be finished. March is the busiest month.
Who are your customers? “Usually the bride comes in
with her sister or mother. Sometimes people see our shop from the
street and stop in. Or customers are referred to us by word of mouth.”
What do you like best about your work? “It’s not routine.
There’s always something different.” The sewing machine whirrs in the
back room. “We all love what we do. And we love to see happy
customers. It’s an emotional time for them. They get excited when
they see their dresses on the third fitting.”
When did you open this shop? Cristy’s Bridal moved from
Payne Avenue to its present location on Arcade near Case Avenue last
December. They make wedding dresses, quinceaneras, prom dresses, first
communion and baptismal clothes, and can provide all the accessories.
The coffee table is stacked with three-ring binders full of photographs
of models in formalwear. Customers can browse the displays for ring
cushions, veils, tiaras, cake toppers, wine bottle covers, stemware,
invitations, and more.
Adriana’s grandmother sews from her own patterns. The finished white
dresses hang from the walls. Customers may order materials through the
shop or supply their own patterns and fabric. Cristy’s custom tailors
Where do your customers get married?“Mostly around here. Some of
our customers have their receptions at the hall next door. Sometimes
they don’t even notice it until they’re walking out our door. They look
up and see the sign, and end up having their reception there.” I asked
her the name of the hall, because I hadn’t noticed it either. Again,
she smiles broadly. “The Polish American Club.”
Sarah Ryan lives in the
Bluff Community. You can reach her by e-mail at email@example.com or send
mail to the Dayton’s Bluff District Forum, 798 E. 7th Street, St. Paul,
By Mary Petrie
Last year, our family took a deep, frightened breath and bought
The House—a rambling three-floor, ninety year old entity, with a
fabulous view. A big house has a big appetite and we’re not
talking dessert. No cream or froth here: those front steps
need replacing (cracked) and the pillars must come down
(rotting). Yes, we noticed the mold on the balcony and no,
haven’t forgotten that one must paint trim every few years.
Add to the hungry house those extra mouths my husband and
I created – the real, eating kind. Two adults, three
children, two dogs and the occasional frog or fish call Mound Street
home now. We have school lunches to pack; summer camp fees, art
class tuition, swimming lessons, and more. We are what I most
feared as a feminist in college: a typical, middle-class American
family, with a mortgage and mini-van.
The demands and distractions of daily life make it easy to
get sucked into the consumer vortex. Although I can’t say
I’m liberated from purchasing cycles, my eyes were recently, finally
opened to the psychological and political complexities of my particular
role as consumer.
My path to liberation began with a near science-fiction
moment, the day I suddenly experienced our house as a giant, living
entity, sucking in goods and burping out garbage. That
fateful March morning, I opened the front door and out spit three
children and armloads of items: backpacks, a basketful of toddler
toys for the car ride to school, two sheets of netting for a kid’s
school project, worn clothes for the Goodwill, library books, pajamas
to return to Target, a manuscript to copy at Kinkos, an essay to drop
off with a friend, garbage to toss, bottles and paper for
Five hours later, I returned and the house opened up to
receive me – and six bags of groceries (of course, we’d have to return
to the store two days later), 15 new library books, bags of paper
products and office supplies from Target, the now dirty basket of
rejected toddler toys, garbage from the van (half chewed animal
crackers and their packaging), three adorable dresses for our
kindergartener given to me by the friend who took the essay, ten copies
of the manuscript from Kinkos, and a must-have pair of Old Navy boot
cut black jeans found at Goodwill while dropping off worn clothing.
On the front steps, I cast a furtive, guilty look at the
surrounding houses. The windows across the street glared at me,
accusing. What do the neighbors think, watching this daily parade
of objects? I closed the door, only to face the mountain of
materiality and the two hours it would take me to simply put things in
their place while keeping then-fourteen month old Merrick alive at the
same time. As for the items that would now demand my time
and energy: did I really need ten copies of that manuscript or
would six have sufficed? Does our seven-year old really need
Hyped-Up Super Power Sugar Man cereal? How about those hip new
jeans for me? The overflowing bags in front of me suddenly
screamed: “We Are Eating Up the Minutes Of Your Life.”
Yes, they ate up the next ninety, as I cleaned out the
fridge to make room for the new and slogged through the house,
shoveling things in their slots and starting the laundry machine.
Thus began my eight-week consumer fast, during which I bought only food
and flowers and, most importantly, during which I took big long
cleansing breaths and began to rethink my role as consumer—as main
purchaser for the hungry house and her seven creatures.
For eight weeks, I borrowed books and made a list of items
we might consider buying in May. For eight weeks, I was the
steadfast “no” to any request for toys, clothes, and books. For
eight weeks, I passed on the sidewalk shop bargains and drove right by
garage sales. I bit my lip when my favorite shoe store hung out a
sign: 30% off. A decent paint sale at Sherwin
Williams meant we might be able to give my porch-turned-office the pale
lilac I longed for. I passed. My husband, John,
suggested that just maybe we do the annual garage sale weekend when
those well-heeled Summit Avenue folks sold their cast offs.
Maybe next year.
A strange thing happened over those eight
weeks. The children eventually embraced the
challenge: there were no requests for Burger King or Polly Pocket
dolls. Nobody missed the weekly skirmishes over whether or
not toys were included in that grocery store run. I discovered
that I already had plenty of spring clothes and that little Merrick fit
nicely into his older siblings’ hand-me-down jackets. My office
functioned just fine in its calm shade of pale green, thank you.
My most striking realization was somewhat sobering:
loading up on items was only half the battle and issue. Indeed,
while my personal shopping stopped, spending did not. During
those eight weeks, I also wrote checks for childcare, registered and
paid for select summer activities for children, met membership dues for
professional organizations, paid for gas, electricity, water and more,
forked over cash for an acupuncture treatment, donated money to the
elementary school and Clouds in Water Zen Center, and bought presents
for birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings.
Clearly, I was not on a consumer fast. But I had
stopped the thoughtless and unnecessary spending that was so easy to
do—easy because what’s simpler than saying “yes” when a child whines
for candy? Easy because that’s the way our culture runs:
buy, buy, buy. There are ads on athletic field fences, billboards
crowding the skyline, spending temptations on the back of the cereal
box—even the organic politically correct and environmentally friendly
juice-sweetened cereal for which one dishes out those extra
dollars. The public school has a ‘school store’ and vending
machines. The Zen Center peddles calligraphy and pots after
Sunday service. You can even purchase new teeth, hair, breasts,
stomach and a really young butt if you have a nice chunk of change in
During my stab at abstaining, I saw how much I
spent! But every time I paid a bill or supported a cause, I
debated: was this where I wanted my money to go? Who got
the cash – the small guy or big corporation? Was I
living within my means or did the credit card company Gnomes smile
every time they saw my name on their mystical roster? Of course,
this newfound introspection and selectivity still meant: We Are
Eating Up The Minutes of Your Life. Instead of solid stuff to
assemble, store, and toss, I was awash in less tangible
endeavors: seeking the least expensive route to all ends,
searching out locally owned businesses to frequent, and debating the
merits of each dollar spent against later personal needs—and the
greater social good. Whew. Chasing Merrick as a hundred
dollars worth of frozen food melted on the kitchen counter suddenly
seemed like a nice stress-free way to spend an afternoon.
May has come and gone, and I’m officially back to task –
able to take part in the ritual of spring spending: seeds,
flowers, fresh clothing, and sales. Only this spring, I’m asking
why so many of our annual cornerstones involve shopping—school supplies
in autumn, holiday gifts in winter. Yes, I still have my
packets of Morning Glories to plant and I bought gloves because the
rake gives me splinters. But we seemed to have lost
the fast food habit and I can report that my clothing costs (for all
five people!) thus far have been zero. I’m foraging through
what we already own more thoroughly and thinking twice about what I
feed this house and my family.
If I’ve drawn any conclusion, it’s that being in the
position to think carefully about how one spends an adequate income is,
in itself, a central privilege. My own mother’s mental
meanderings were much different—a single parent of three, she spent her
time figuring out which necessity to do without and agonized over the
slim years when state money fed and housed her children. Even so,
we were fed and clothed and flourished. Although poor by American
standards, my childhood sparkled compared to most others. In
2002, the World Summit on Sustainable Development reported that half
the world’s population lives on less than two dollars a day.
Those are the children who I’ll be thinking about the next
time I stand in line at Starbucks for my larger, two-dollar, skim milk
Suzanne Nielsen - a local
writer with an East Side state of mind
By J. Wittenberg
Suzanne Nielsen is a writer of literary fiction whose work
is deeply rooted in our own East Side of St. Paul. Often her work
concerns stories of the working poor.
I recently had the pleasure to read one of her latest
endeavors, titled “Nora’s Needs”. Truly, I broke out with laughter at
much of her moving, honest prose, of indelible, sometimes brutal
“We stabbed centipedes in her basement with a wire hanger
that we undid and used like a whip. When Nora pierced the
bugs in the center of their bodies, they would arch their backs while
moving their legs in a million directions until they finally gave into
death,” Suzanne writes in Nora’s voice.
This talented writer deserves greater recognition, I dare
say. Sometimes her language is salty, but genuine, no doubt due to her
experience of our ever so gentle East Side. Her work is often gritty,
littered with broken down cars, shattered glass, windows blocked out by
plywood, glitters of shards that “glowed like diamonds in the
She writes of poverty and “white trash,” the sort we’ve
all known or seen one time or another. Suzanne writes of a woman whose
lips “flapped through her toothless growl,” and “foaming from the
comers of her mouth,” and of nightmares displaying a large “German
Shepherd, with the head of old Mrs. Nephling running after me, all her
teeth in place.”
Certainly, I could see parts of old St. Paul in her prose:
in phrases such as “grandma’s porch surrounded in pretty lace,” in
“communion dresses and bingo,” of what may bring one to Heaven, and of
stomachs “the size of the Indian mounds at the park.” She writes of
Earl Street, and how can one not think of this great thoroughfare as
nostalgic, if not “edenesque.” Oh to take a drive down Earl, in all
Suzanne is a writing tutor at Metropolitan State’s Writing
Center, and has been writing for Whistling Shade, a literary press,
where she tackles a monthly column called “Cool Dead People” - a
collection of essays on folks whom she feels more should have the
privilege to know. This column can be read online for Double Dare Press
Ms. Nielsen has taught creative writing at the Loft, both for adults
and children. She has studied chemical dependency counseling for a
decade, and is a Metropolitan State grad of ’95. Besides her tutoring,
she is currently undertaking her doctorate in education at Hamline
As to listing her primary source of inspiration, she named
George Singleton, and also mentioned notable Dayton’s Bluff authors
Alison Mcghee and Susan Williams.
Ms. Nielsen’s short story “8 Days” was published in a
literary journal called ‘Splunkerflophouse.’ Furthermore, Suzanne has
had her work appear in over 50 publications. Her large array of
creative work also includes poetry, which I hope she continues, and may
such efforts find more venues in which they can be shared. In an
example of her vivid verse she writes: “Just east of the river/ a mom
sorts through day old/ bakery with tattooed tears/ dripping down her
cheek... hunting for bargains with eyes that/ are drowning in their own
pools/ of discontent.”
This summer, Suzanne is planning to work on her fiction: a
When I asked her to characterize her writing, she said -
“Place is prevalent, as is the working class. The characters sort of
take over. I write from that perspective. It’s what I know.” In summing
up, she remembered a quote from her husband, who said in referring to
her work: “You can take the girl out of the East Side, but you can’t
get the East Side out of the girl.”
If you are inclined toward literature, attend her reading
of her latest work at the historic streetcar station at the corner of
Lexington and Horton, but a stone’s throw from Como Park, on June 26,
from 2-5 p.m., at an event associated with Double Dare Press.
Over 600 people took to the streets on
Saturday, May 8th for Minnesota’s Election Action Day, registering
voters, signing up volunteers and canvassing door-to-door across the
state. Launching an unprecedented grassroots movement to increase voter
participation, Minnesota America Votes and its partner organizations
joined together to begin a massive, six month-long coordinated
statewide voter registration and mobilization effort.
America Votes had about 25 canvassers who registered about
55 new voters that day in Dayton’s Bluff.
Canvassers also worked in Payne-Phalen and the Greater
East Side. Nationwide, they reached about 10,000 volunteers. And
overall, organizations involved with America Votes have already
registered more than 250,000 new voters nationwide.
May 8th was just the beginning. Dayton’s Bluff and East
Side residents can expect to see canvassers quite a bit between now and
November. To get involved, please call 651-645-1515 or visit www.minnesota.act4victory.org.
“This coalition is nothing less than extraordinary,” said
Donald McFarland, State Director of Minnesota America Votes. “I’ve
never seen so many committed people coming together to make a
difference so early in the Minnesota election season. Today is truly
about empowering people.”
Held six months before Election Day, Election Action Day
marks the kick-off of a national effort across 17 states to register
250,000 new voters, contact one million voters about the coming
elections, and recruit 10 million volunteer hours. In Minnesota,
progressive organizations will knock on over 700,000 doors statewide.
CLUES building under
construction on E. 7th St.
|Dignitaries gather for the groundbreaking
ceremony of the new CLUES building on May 7. Photo by
|Construction began a few days later with
completion scheduled for late this year. Photos by Karin DuPaul
|An architect’s drawing of the CLUES
building as it will look when complete
Chicanos Latinos Unidos En Servicio (CLUES)
embarked on a new era of service when the agency held its breaking
ground ceremony at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 7th for its new office
building located at 797 East Seventh Street in Dayton’s Bluff.
The Honorable Carlos Sada, Consul General of Mexico in Chicago, was the
special guest for this event.
The new location will allow CLUES to meet the needs of
over 14,000 Latinos now living on the East Side while maintaining a
presence on the West Side, the traditional home of Latinos in
Minnesota. CLUES will keep its Elder Services at Our Lady of
Guadalupe Church, on the West Side.
Half of the building will house the CLUES administration
and four of its five core programs: Mental Health, Chemical Health,
Education and Employment. The rest of the space is being leased
to a mix of commercial, retail and nonprofit organizations. The
focal point at CLUES new site will be the Latino Learning Institute as
a reflection of our commitment to improving literacy and the
educational attainment of Latino children and adults.
BWBR Architects designed the new two-story, 21,500 square
foot building that will be located in the heart of St. Paul’s growing
Latino community. Krauss Anderson Construction Company is slated
to finish the project in late 2004. The project is being managed
by Sterns & Associates, LLC.
Since 1981, CLUES has been providing linguistically
appropriate and culturally proficient services to Latinos in
Minnesota. In 2003, CLUES had over 18,500 client visits. In
July 2003, CLUES received the Helen Trías Rodríguez Award
in recognition for being selected the National Health Care Affiliate of
the Year by the National Council of La Raza, this country’s largest
Latino advocate group.