Dayton's Bluff District Forum         Articles        June 2004
Family friendly Dayton's Bluff Branch Library opens for business
Mayor in new library
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
By Steve Trimble
   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 noon.
   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.
Girl in library
   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. 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.
    What finally led to the successful undertaking was the proposal for a unique university-community collaboration.
   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
   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 landmark.
   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 contest

  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 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.
   We are also looking for judges for the garden contest.  If you are interested call Karin at 651-772-2075.

2004 Home Tour was a big success 
Home Tour Volunteers
Volunteers help out at one of the homes on the 2004 Dayton’s Bluff Home Tour.  Left to right: Rich DuPaul, Carla Riehle, Colleen Ashton and Susan Rust.  Photo by Karin DuPaul
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.
   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 success.
   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.

Grocery Give-Away

   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 necessary.  Sponsored by United Methodist churches on St. Paul's east side. 

Landscape Ecology Awards Program nominations 

   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 and pesticides.
   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 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 1. 
   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 Mounds Theatre

When:    Saturday, June 26 - 7:30 p.m.
               Sunday, June 27 - 2:00 p.m. (matinee)*
Where: Mounds Theatre, 1029 Hudson Road, St. Paul, MN 55106
Tickets: General admission $5.00; Children, seniors & students free
Reservations: Phone  -  (612) 871-9077; Email  -
* An ASL interpreter will be available at the Sunday 2:00 p.m. performance.

  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 improvisation.
   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 wish. 
   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. 

Plant Swap

Plant Swap
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 Theatre

Creativity Camps
   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.

June Events
   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

Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary update

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, or leave a message for the Lower Phalen Creek Project staff at 651/771-1152, extension 132.

Dayton's Bluff Rec Center June Events

   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

PARENT & TOT PLAY TIME (Ages 5 & under)
Mon., Wed. & Fri.’s; 10 am - 12 noon; Free; On-going

 (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

 (Ages 11 & up)  
Wed., June 9; 6:30 - 7:30 pm; Free
(Ages 7-12 yrs.)  
Mon.-Thurs., June 14-24; 1 - 2:30 pm; Free; 8 sessions; Limit 10

(Ages 13-17 yrs.)  
T/Th, June 15/17; 5 - 6 pm; Free; 4 sessions; Limit 15

(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

M-Th ;  3 - 5 pm; Free
June 14-17: Mice week    
June 28-July 1: Sports week

Wed., June 16; 6:15 - 7:15 pm; $50/team; 6 weeks

Mon., June 21; 6:30 - 8 pm; Free; 8 weeks

T/Th, June 15/17; 6:30 - 7:30 pm; $16; 4 sessions; Limit 20
Tues, June 8; 11:30 am - 2 pm; $1wk; 10 weeks

Fri.’s; 6 - 8:45 pm; $1/wk; On-going

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

Wed., June 23; 6:30 pm; Free

WATERWORKS WATER PARK at Battle Creek Regional Park
Fri., June 18; 10 am-3 pm; Fee: $6

Fri., June 25; 12-3:30 pm; Fee: $6

Memorable Minnesota Meals - Part II: More about Hot Dish and Booya

Hot Dish
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 revealed.

Hot Dish

   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 noodles.
   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 tofu.                
   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 dish.
   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 Minnesota landscape.”          

   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 heritage.
   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 their ancestors.”
   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 and cheaply.”
   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 were bountiful.”
   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 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 roles.”                   
   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.  Questions like:
·    Should Saint Paul create a municipal (citizen) owned electric and/or natural gas utility rather than renegotiating a new franchise agreement with Xcel Energy?
·    What 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:

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 corporations.
   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:
·    How 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

Increasing gas prices are wake-up call for Minnesota

By State Representative Sheldon Johnson
   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 North Slope.
   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 limited.
   Thanks to my readers for sharing their insights and appreciation.

The Clothes Line - June Wedding

Cristy's Bridal
Cristy’s Bridal at 995 Arcade 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 every garment.
 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 Dayton’s Bluff Community. You can reach her by e-mail at or send mail to the Dayton’s Bluff District Forum, 798 E. 7th Street, St. Paul, MN  55106

The House

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 recycling. 
   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 your pocket.
   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.
   Two dollars! 
   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 caramel latte.

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 imagery.
   “We stabbed centipedes in her basement with a wire hanger that we undid and used like a whip. When Suzanne NielsenNora 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 sunlight.”
   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 it’s splendor!
   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 at  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 University.
   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 novel-in-stories.
   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.

America Votes

    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
   “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.

CLUES Groundbreaking
Dignitaries gather for the groundbreaking ceremony of the new CLUES building on May 7.    Photo by Karin DuPaul
CLUES Construction
Construction began a few days later with completion scheduled for late this year.  Photos by Karin DuPaul
CLUES Drawing
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.