Sun Current http://current.mnsun.com Local News for Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and Richfield Minnesota Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:24:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Anatomy of a Bumpy Start http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/anatomy-of-a-bumpy-start/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/anatomy-of-a-bumpy-start/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:00:27 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?guid=94f686a84794ab679e8b58fb17929b66 The stock market has had bumpy start this year. Surprised? It mirrors January 2014. Lack of central bank stimulus, oil’s price decline and a few tepid reports are to blame this time.

Still, things worked out OK last year and may well this year. At Friday’s close, the Standard & Poor’s 500’s total return (price plus dividends) was down 0.26% for the month, although it has climbed back from the much-deeper mid-month low.

The early-2014 market suffered a sudden drop that puzzled investors spoiled by the easy, Federal Reserve-fueled returns of 2013. The prior year’s disproportionate gains led to quite a bout of portfolio rebalancing as institutions reduced equity exposure that previously rising stock prices drove into the red zones.

While 2014 wasn’t quite half as good as 2013, it was nonetheless enough to set off another wave of portfolio rebalancing. Mix in some legitimate fears about slowing economic growth with angst over falling prices, and there’s fright about what the coming year will bring. Similar to last year, the stock market failed the "first five days test" (thought of as a harbinger for the year's performance) and is also headed for a negative month, though neither of those omens proved accurate in 2014.

Not every year’s rally is brought up short by calendar rebalancing, but the current market is missing some of the high-octane fuel that keeps markets going around the annual turns.

Valuations aren’t cheap, despite the perennial equity fund manager protestation that they’re “reasonable.” The S&P 500 price/earning multiple is 19.7, a good four percentage points over its historical average.

Most of all, the fall of 2014 lacked the spark of boundless optimism that new programs of quantitative easing, or QE, have set off in previous years. The Fed ended its bond-buying stimulus effort in October. Nor did it have another surprise about-face on QE from the Fed, like the one in September 2013 that launched the market back on its way to half of that year’s gains.

In fact, this January lacked any momentum at all, as even the perennial Santa Claus rally faded at the finish and left the S&P 500 with a rare (though minimal) December decline. Small wonder that smaller gains could still lead to rebalancing and help fuel modest losses at the outset of the year.

Other factors are at work, of course, not least of which is the confidence- damaging plunge in oil prices. Lower energy costs are generally an economic good, but like a falling currency the benefits can take time to work their way into the economy.

The current 45-degree plunge, another example of a one-way trade run amuck, has had its initial effects by fanning fears about fading economic growth and failed bond principal payments. Waves of job and budget cuts in the energy sector are following, such as the Schlumberger (SLB) decision last week to ax 9,000 workers. The energy sector and energy-related activity has been one of the few sources of decent new jobs in the current U.S. recovery, particularly in manufacturing.

The supply-demand picture in oil isn’t as out of balance as the recent momentum would have it. Nor was it in 2008, when surging prices hit $150 a barrel. At that time every story of a refinery fire or unplanned shutdown - both common occurrences in a dirty, dangerous industry – immediately set prices on another spike higher. Now every story of increased supply or pause in demand, welcome a year ago, is another fright for traders.

Put the release of December retail sales– a big decline with a miss of consensus – into this volatile environment. Thus you have an easy-to-understand story about anxiety selling, even if the logic is a bit confused. The month’s sales were much better than the headline number would have you think. The year-on-year comparison for December unadjusted sales figures showed growth of 4.6%, above the average for the last 22 years (4.2%), while November-December combined showed year-on-year growth of 3.8% in unadjusted sales dollars, compared to 3.4% growth in 2013.

Certainly the fourth-quarter earnings season isn’t helping much. The current “blended” earnings rate for the quarter, according to FactSet, is a very meager 0.6%. The blended rate, a mix of estimated and actual results, is at this early stage almost entirely based on estimates. Earnings aren’t really expected to be quite that low, of course, as the necessary “positive surprise” factor requires a cushion of three to four percentage points.

But it’s the lowest expectation since the results for last year's weather-scarred first quarter, one not helped by the string of disappointing results from the big banks. Weak earnings growth isn’t a wonderful foundation for rising stock prices.

It’s a good time for caution. I don’t think the equity bull has been killed quite yet, though these things are admittedly difficult to discern in real time, and the stock market and the business cycles aren’t getting old, they are old. Such creatures may not die of pure old age, but they certainly don’t get new life from it either.

Yet bear markets almost never take hold in the spring, and a couple of benign central bank meetings could be all that it takes to have the S&P at 2100 and people talking about Fortress America again.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

M. Kevin Flynn, CFA, is the president of Avalon Asset Management Company in Lexington, Mass. Website: avalonassetmgmt.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

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The stock market has had bumpy start this year. Surprised? It mirrors January 2014. Lack of central bank stimulus, oil’s price decline and a few tepid reports are to blame this time.

Still, things worked out OK last year and may well this year. At Friday’s close, the Standard & Poor’s 500’s total return (price plus dividends) was down 0.26% for the month, although it has climbed back from the much-deeper mid-month low.

The early-2014 market suffered a sudden drop that puzzled investors spoiled by the easy, Federal Reserve-fueled returns of 2013. The prior year’s disproportionate gains led to quite a bout of portfolio rebalancing as institutions reduced equity exposure that previously rising stock prices drove into the red zones.

While 2014 wasn’t quite half as good as 2013, it was nonetheless enough to set off another wave of portfolio rebalancing. Mix in some legitimate fears about slowing economic growth with angst over falling prices, and there’s fright about what the coming year will bring. Similar to last year, the stock market failed the “first five days test” (thought of as a harbinger for the year’s performance) and is also headed for a negative month, though neither of those omens proved accurate in 2014.

Not every year’s rally is brought up short by calendar rebalancing, but the current market is missing some of the high-octane fuel that keeps markets going around the annual turns.

Valuations aren’t cheap, despite the perennial equity fund manager protestation that they’re “reasonable.” The S&P 500 price/earning multiple is 19.7, a good four percentage points over its historical average.

Most of all, the fall of 2014 lacked the spark of boundless optimism that new programs of quantitative easing, or QE, have set off in previous years. The Fed ended its bond-buying stimulus effort in October. Nor did it have another surprise about-face on QE from the Fed, like the one in September 2013 that launched the market back on its way to half of that year’s gains.

In fact, this January lacked any momentum at all, as even the perennial Santa Claus rally faded at the finish and left the S&P 500 with a rare (though minimal) December decline. Small wonder that smaller gains could still lead to rebalancing and help fuel modest losses at the outset of the year.

Other factors are at work, of course, not least of which is the confidence- damaging plunge in oil prices. Lower energy costs are generally an economic good, but like a falling currency the benefits can take time to work their way into the economy.

The current 45-degree plunge, another example of a one-way trade run amuck, has had its initial effects by fanning fears about fading economic growth and failed bond principal payments. Waves of job and budget cuts in the energy sector are following, such as the Schlumberger (SLB) decision last week to ax 9,000 workers. The energy sector and energy-related activity has been one of the few sources of decent new jobs in the current U.S. recovery, particularly in manufacturing.

The supply-demand picture in oil isn’t as out of balance as the recent momentum would have it. Nor was it in 2008, when surging prices hit $150 a barrel. At that time every story of a refinery fire or unplanned shutdown – both common occurrences in a dirty, dangerous industry – immediately set prices on another spike higher. Now every story of increased supply or pause in demand, welcome a year ago, is another fright for traders.

Put the release of December retail sales– a big decline with a miss of consensus – into this volatile environment. Thus you have an easy-to-understand story about anxiety selling, even if the logic is a bit confused. The month’s sales were much better than the headline number would have you think. The year-on-year comparison for December unadjusted sales figures showed growth of 4.6%, above the average for the last 22 years (4.2%), while November-December combined showed year-on-year growth of 3.8% in unadjusted sales dollars, compared to 3.4% growth in 2013.

Certainly the fourth-quarter earnings season isn’t helping much. The current “blended” earnings rate for the quarter, according to FactSet, is a very meager 0.6%. The blended rate, a mix of estimated and actual results, is at this early stage almost entirely based on estimates. Earnings aren’t really expected to be quite that low, of course, as the necessary “positive surprise” factor requires a cushion of three to four percentage points.

But it’s the lowest expectation since the results for last year’s weather-scarred first quarter, one not helped by the string of disappointing results from the big banks. Weak earnings growth isn’t a wonderful foundation for rising stock prices.

It’s a good time for caution. I don’t think the equity bull has been killed quite yet, though these things are admittedly difficult to discern in real time, and the stock market and the business cycles aren’t getting old, they are old. Such creatures may not die of pure old age, but they certainly don’t get new life from it either.

Yet bear markets almost never take hold in the spring, and a couple of benign central bank meetings could be all that it takes to have the S&P at 2100 and people talking about Fortress America again.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq.

M. Kevin Flynn, CFA, is the president of Avalon Asset Management Company in Lexington, Mass. Website: avalonassetmgmt.com.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

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Picking Benchmarks Wisely http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/picking-benchmarks-wisely/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/picking-benchmarks-wisely/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:00:03 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?guid=f6fbc5886865145ecd276d6c1a72ab50 Maybe your family just wrapped up its holiday tradition of big gatherings where grandma headed the fireside sing-along or everyone got a year’s wisdom from your goofy brother-in-law. Maybe too you seethed silently at how well one relative is doing financially. As the holidays fade, we all must recognize our unrelenting desire to compare ourselves to loved ones – a path to both bad moods and potentially bad money moves.

In Predictably Irrational, author Dan Ariely writes, “Humans rarely choose things in absolute terms. We don’t have an internal value meter that tells us how much things are worth. Rather, we focus on the relative advantage of one thing over another, and estimate value accordingly.”

He adds, “We not only tend to compare things with one another but also tend to focus on comparing things that are easily comparable – and avoid comparing things that cannot be compared easily.” In other words, we often use completely irrelevant benchmarks to gauge our success and make decisions.

We compare our car or clothes with our siblings’. We compare how our children act relative to the neighbors’ kids. We decide how much to spend on our holiday shopping after we figure out how much our friends or family members plan to spend on theirs.

None of these comparisons makes rational sense. But we still find it far easier to take a shortcut and pursue easy comparisons that provide a simple, concrete (but irrelevant) answer. The question of how things best fit into our own lives seems far more abstract.

Every now and then a client of mine will lament refinancing a mortgage at 4% after his or her brother got 3.75%. The interest rate provides a simple, easy-to-understand comparison but misses the big picture. Digging deeper, we find that the benchmark brother paid closing costs and my client didn’t.

In 10 years, the monthly savings of that 0.25 percentage point difference will finally cover the closing costs. Suppose my client only wants to stay in the home for five? The brother’s rate is lower but ends up costing more eventually.

Nowhere is benchmarking more prevalent and more irrelevant than in investing. How your portfolio performs against the Standard & Poor’s 500, for instance, has no bearing on your financial well-being.

Some of you likely beat the S&P 500 in 2008 – and you didn’t jump for joy. Earning returns that are merely better than minus 37% (what the S&P lost that year) hardly gives you reason to celebrate. Also, if diversified, your portfolio almost certainly lagged the S&P 500 in 2014.

On this two-way street, you can’t expect to match the S&P 500 in good years or bad. Ignore the index, or at least take it with a degree of skepticism.

Your portfolio ought to be designed to provide you with the lifestyle you want. In most cases, such a plan does not mean a blind effort to maximize returns. Comparing your holdings to an arbitrary benchmark, especially over short periods, tells you nothing about whether your money will allow you to achieve your life goals.

Take an example from recent history: Your holiday budget needs to reflect your own money limit, not that of your relatives who try to accomplish different goals than you do in both life and spending.

For instance, in one recent holiday season, my wife and I did not exchange gifts. We had just moved into and furnished a new home and we spent Christmas in the hospital after delivering our second child. This year, we planned to spend more on gifts for our 3-year-old son than our 1-year-old daughter – not because we love him more but because his younger sister’s needs and wants are different and less expensive than his. We felt no need to force spending for the sake of equality between our two children.

The turn of the year provides time for reflection on the past 12 months and an opportunity to look forward. Take comfort in the certainty surrounding your family traditions but also set a goal to ignore irrelevant comparisons in your day-to-day life.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Joe Pitzl, CFP, is the managing partner at Pitzl Financial in Arden Hills, Minn. He writes for the blogs Beyond the Money and Financial Fairway. Follow Joe on Twitter at @joepitzl.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

]]>
Maybe your family just wrapped up its holiday tradition of big gatherings where grandma headed the fireside sing-along or everyone got a year’s wisdom from your goofy brother-in-law. Maybe too you seethed silently at how well one relative is doing financially. As the holidays fade, we all must recognize our unrelenting desire to compare ourselves to loved ones – a path to both bad moods and potentially bad money moves.

In Predictably Irrational, author Dan Ariely writes, “Humans rarely choose things in absolute terms. We don’t have an internal value meter that tells us how much things are worth. Rather, we focus on the relative advantage of one thing over another, and estimate value accordingly.”

He adds, “We not only tend to compare things with one another but also tend to focus on comparing things that are easily comparable – and avoid comparing things that cannot be compared easily.” In other words, we often use completely irrelevant benchmarks to gauge our success and make decisions.

We compare our car or clothes with our siblings’. We compare how our children act relative to the neighbors’ kids. We decide how much to spend on our holiday shopping after we figure out how much our friends or family members plan to spend on theirs.

None of these comparisons makes rational sense. But we still find it far easier to take a shortcut and pursue easy comparisons that provide a simple, concrete (but irrelevant) answer. The question of how things best fit into our own lives seems far more abstract.

Every now and then a client of mine will lament refinancing a mortgage at 4% after his or her brother got 3.75%. The interest rate provides a simple, easy-to-understand comparison but misses the big picture. Digging deeper, we find that the benchmark brother paid closing costs and my client didn’t.

In 10 years, the monthly savings of that 0.25 percentage point difference will finally cover the closing costs. Suppose my client only wants to stay in the home for five? The brother’s rate is lower but ends up costing more eventually.

Nowhere is benchmarking more prevalent and more irrelevant than in investing. How your portfolio performs against the Standard & Poor’s 500, for instance, has no bearing on your financial well-being.

Some of you likely beat the S&P 500 in 2008 – and you didn’t jump for joy. Earning returns that are merely better than minus 37% (what the S&P lost that year) hardly gives you reason to celebrate. Also, if diversified, your portfolio almost certainly lagged the S&P 500 in 2014.

On this two-way street, you can’t expect to match the S&P 500 in good years or bad. Ignore the index, or at least take it with a degree of skepticism.

Your portfolio ought to be designed to provide you with the lifestyle you want. In most cases, such a plan does not mean a blind effort to maximize returns. Comparing your holdings to an arbitrary benchmark, especially over short periods, tells you nothing about whether your money will allow you to achieve your life goals.

Take an example from recent history: Your holiday budget needs to reflect your own money limit, not that of your relatives who try to accomplish different goals than you do in both life and spending.

For instance, in one recent holiday season, my wife and I did not exchange gifts. We had just moved into and furnished a new home and we spent Christmas in the hospital after delivering our second child. This year, we planned to spend more on gifts for our 3-year-old son than our 1-year-old daughter – not because we love him more but because his younger sister’s needs and wants are different and less expensive than his. We felt no need to force spending for the sake of equality between our two children.

The turn of the year provides time for reflection on the past 12 months and an opportunity to look forward. Take comfort in the certainty surrounding your family traditions but also set a goal to ignore irrelevant comparisons in your day-to-day life.

Follow AdviceIQ on Twitter at @adviceiq

Joe Pitzl, CFP, is the managing partner at Pitzl Financial in Arden Hills, Minn. He writes for the blogs Beyond the Money and Financial Fairway. Follow Joe on Twitter at @joepitzl.

AdviceIQ delivers quality personal finance articles by both financial advisors and AdviceIQ editors. It ranks advisors in your area by specialty, including small businesses, doctors and clients of modest means, for example. Those with the biggest number of clients in a given specialty rank the highest. AdviceIQ also vets ranked advisors so only those with pristine regulatory histories can participate. AdviceIQ was launched Jan. 9, 2012, by veteran Wall Street executives, editors and technologists. Right now, investors may see many advisor rankings, although in some areas only a few are ranked. Check back often as thousands of advisors are undergoing AdviceIQ screening. New advisors appear in rankings daily.

]]>
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Bloomington superintendent to speak at Progressive Issues Forum http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/bloomington-superintendent-to-speak-at-progressive-issues-forum/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/bloomington-superintendent-to-speak-at-progressive-issues-forum/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 19:46:35 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=142476 Bloomington Schools Supt. Les Fujitake will speak at next week’s Bloomington Progressive Issues Forum.

The program begins 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, at Davanni’s Restaurant, 8605 Lyndale Ave., Bloomington. A dinner social begins at 5:30 p.m.

Fujitake will discuss trends in student achievement, enrollment, programs focused on particular student needs and community support.

Info: addiemattson@comcast.net

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Listen to the pope about nukes, war, climate change http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/listen-to-the-pope-about-nukes-war-climate-change/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/listen-to-the-pope-about-nukes-war-climate-change/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 19:31:03 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=142452 To the editor:

It was heartening to hear Pope Francis’ New Year’s address encouraging mankind to work for the abolition of war. This is the stated goal of Veterans for Peace, which I belong to.

I truly hope that this message along with his earlier one several weeks before calling for the end of nuclear deterrence, which he claimed was robbing the future of the world’s  youth.  Additionally, he spoke of the need for nations to responsibly face up to climate change.

Given that war is not only fought over resources, but with immense resources, this advice is akin to a moral imperative that needs to be acted on.

Steve McKeown

Richfield

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Edina Realty celebrates 60 years http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/edina-realty-celebrates-60-years/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/edina-realty-celebrates-60-years/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 19:00:17 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=142592 Edina Realty is celebrating its 60th year of helping people in Minnesota and Wisconsin buy and sell homes and its 15th year as the region’s real estate market leader with a 20 percent market share.

In 2014, Edina Realty handled nearly 32,000 pending transactions, buy and sell side, for a total of $7.6 billion in pending sales volume.

The National Association of Realtors expects home sales to increase nearly 8 percent while housing prices are also expected to rise another 4 percent.

“We have a very positive housing outlook because the Twin Cities has one of the lowest rates of unemployment among major metro areas,” said Greg Mason, president and CEO of Edina Realty Home Services. “With a bright jobs picture comes a bright housing picture.”

Housing prices are continuing to rise. The average sales price of a home in the Twin Cities 13-county region rose 7 percent to $252,659 from $236,109 last November, according to data from the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors.

Info: edinarealty.com

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Grange to honor local organizations and residents on Feb. 2 http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/grange-to-honor-local-organizations-and-residents-on-feb-2/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/grange-to-honor-local-organizations-and-residents-on-feb-2/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:00:30 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=142584 The Oliver Hudson Kelley, No. 834, will be hosting its second annual Community Honors Night and Awards Ceremony on Monday, Feb. 2, at the 1879 Minnehaha Grange Hall, 4918 Eden Ave, Edina. Refreshments will be served at 6 p.m., with the award ceremony following at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

The event will celebrate individuals and organizations who ascribe to the mission of OHK Grange: celebrating and supporting agricultural history and practice through educational programming, community service and social events.

“The Grange has been active in Minnesota for 148 years,” said OHK President T.J. Malaskee. “It is both moving and encouraging that interest in agriculture and food continues to thrive.”

The Friend of the Farmer, Friend of the Grange Award will be presented to the Maplewood Area Historical Society. This award recognizes organizations that support and promote agriculture and history within their community.

Recently, MAHS and OHK Grange formed a partnership to launch a summer camp for children with the goal of educating them on the history and practice of agriculture in the local community.

The Patron of the Community Award will be presented to Ashley Fairbanks and Dylan Kesti of the Four Sisters Farmers Market.

The annual award is given to members of the community who are actively working to promote agriculture in the Twin Cities metro area. This summer, Fairbanks and Kesti premiered a farmers market supporting local, indigenous foods, urban farmers,and native farmers in the metro area.

Info: OHKgrange.org

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Pond hockey tragedy on Excelsior Bay http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/pond-hockey-tragedy-on-excelsior-bay/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/pond-hockey-tragedy-on-excelsior-bay/#comments Mon, 26 Jan 2015 04:21:11 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=142738 Former Wayzata captain dies following game

Greg and Kate Riebe were only two weeks away from closing on their new home on Minnewashta Bay last Friday morning when Greg left to play in a pond hockey tournament on Excelsior Bay.

Greg Riebe, the former Wayzata High hockey captain, still wearing his Trojan helmet above, competes in the North American Pond Hockey Championships approximately 45 minutes before his tragic death Friday, Jan. 23, on Excelsior Bay. (Sun Sailor staff photo by John Sherman)

Greg Riebe, the former Wayzata High hockey captain, still wearing his Trojan helmet above, competes in the North American Pond Hockey Championships approximately 45 minutes before his tragic death Friday, Jan. 23, on Excelsior Bay. (Sun Sailor staff photo by John Sherman)

Tragically, Greg never returned home that day. Following his second game of the day with Excelsior Brewing Company, the 46-year-old former Wayzata High hockey captain felt dizzy and collapsed. His teammates, Jeff Cole and Jon Lewin, helped him to his feet, but then Greg dropped back to one knee.

First responders were called, and they arrived quickly. Riebe lost consciousness, but was breathing and had a pulse, Lewin said.

“At first, I thought it might just be dehydration,” said Lewin, a co-owner of Excelsior Brewing Company, the team sponsor.

“Greg was out, and then he began to lose his pulse. Something was going wrong,” said Lewin.

Approximately 30 minutes later, Riebe died. All activity on all of the rinks at the North American Pond Hockey Championships had ceased, as Greg tried to hang onto life. Responders from the fire department and the police department, along with paramedics and a doctor, tried everything from CPR to electroshock, but nothing could bring back a pulse.

Men and women tried to fight back tears, but it was no use. Friends, and even people who had not known Greg, sobbed openly.

“Greg was one of the older guys on the team, but he was our best player,” said Lewin, Riebe’s teammate for three seasons. “Greg was proud that he had played for Wayzata and still wore his gold helmet from high school.”

John Klick, the owner of Excelsior Brewing Company along with Lewin, said he had been Riebe’s friend since junior high school.

“I didn’t play hockey in high school, but I watched Greg play a lot of times,” said Klick. “We were high school buddies at Wayzata. On this team, he was our ringer.”

What kind of friend was Riebe?

“If you could clone him, the world would be a much better place,” said Klick. “Greg was a true friend. There wasn’t a bad bone in his body. You look at all he did for charity. He was always volunteering for Special Olympics and he was always willing to take the Polar Plunge.”

Riebe was also the last man Klick would expect to die young.

“This was not a guy who was out of shape,” Klick noted. “Greg was in running clubs. He entered road races and even a few marathons.”

“Greg was a solid guy you could always count on,” said teammate Chris Kelly

“There was plenty to like about Greg,” said Lewin. “I knew him mainly through John [Klick], but we had become good friends. He was a great teammate, and there was plenty to like about Greg.”

As Lewin stood on Excelsior Bay Sunday afternoon, gazing out on the panorama of the final pond hockey games, he said, “You know, Greg loved this tournament. And he loved life. He had so much to look forward to with his wife and kids [August and Emma], as they were moving to their new home. Greg was the proudest dad you could ever find.”

Funeral Service

The funeral service for Greg Riebe will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 31, at St. Philip the Deacon Lutheran Church, 17205 County Road 6, in Plymouth. Visitation will be from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30, at the David Lee Funeral Home, 1220 E. Wayzata Boulevard, in downtown Wayzata. There will also be a visitation one hour before the funeral service on Saturday. In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials for August and Emma’s education fund.

Contact John Sherman at john.sherman@ecm-inc.com

]]> http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/pond-hockey-tragedy-on-excelsior-bay/feed/ 0 Bloomington community center to show vintage films http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/bloomington-community-center-to-show-vintage-films/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/bloomington-community-center-to-show-vintage-films/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 19:43:30 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=142472 Creekside Community Center of Bloomington will show classic 16mm films this winter.

The free film screenings begin 12:45 p.m. at 9801 Penn Ave.

The schedule features “Hopalong Cassidy Returns,” “Eagles Brood,” “Heart of Arizona” and “Cassidy of Bar 20” on Jan. 26; “Man From Music Mountain,” “Blondie” films and the “Victory At Sea” TV series episode 13, “Melanesian Nightmare,” Feb. 23; “Don Winslow of the Navy,” “Daredevils of the West,” “Jesse James Rides Again” and “Thunder Gap Outlaws” on March 16.

Info: 952-563-4944

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Blessed Trinity hosts winter dance http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/blessed-trinity-hosts-winter-dance/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/blessed-trinity-hosts-winter-dance/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 19:29:59 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=142450 Blessed Trinity Catholic School hosts its annual Sno*Ball Dance from 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31.

Taking place at the school’s Penn Campus, located in Richfield at 7540 Penn Ave., the event includes dinner, dancing and bidding. Homemade pasta will be available for $5, raffle tickets will be on sale and bids will be accepted in a silent auction that ends at 8:30 p.m. Chances for the raffle are $5 each, with $45,000 in prizes at stake.

Tickets are $25 per family or $15 per person. Senior tickets are $8 and include the cost of the pasta dinner.

Call 612-866-6906 for more information or to purchase event tickets in advance.

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Music in Edina at Braemar Feb. 14 http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/music-in-edina-at-braemar-feb-14/ http://current.mnsun.com/2015/01/music-in-edina-at-braemar-feb-14/#comments Sun, 25 Jan 2015 15:00:23 +0000 http://current.mnsun.com/?p=142582 Music in Edina presents The Rockin’ Hollywoods! , who will be performing 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at Braemar Golf Clubhouse, 6364 John Harris Drive, Edina. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

The casual and fun concert event is free and open to all ages. The event will include a cash bar, complimentary salty and sweet snacks and door prizes.

The event is supported by the City of Edina and The Arts and Culture Commission.

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