Sun Current Local News for Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina and Richfield Minnesota Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:50:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Comedies dominate first days of Twin Cities Film Fest Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:50:33 +0000 By Jared Huizenga – Contributing Writer

The first four days of the 2014 Twin Cities Film Fest have seen (as always) a wide variety of films taking over screens at the Showplace Icon Theater in St. Louis Park.

Among those diverse pieces the Charles Manson biopic “House of Manson,” horror anthology “V/H/S: Viral,” a host of short films and the romantic drama “Old Fashioned.”

But for me, it’s been a handful of comedies that have taken center stage over the first few days.

“The Last Time You Had Fun”

The ensemble cast features Kyle Bornheimer (“She’s Out of My League,” “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) as Clark, Eliza Coupe (“Happy Endings”) as Ida, Mary Elizabeth Ellis (“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “New Girl”) as Alison and Demetri Martin (“Important Things with Demetri Martin”) as Will.

Friends Clark and Will head out to a wine bar to “celebrate” Clark’s divorce. While at said wine bar, they cross paths with sisters Ida and Alison, who are there to go over the details of what appears to be Ida’s impending divorce.

The newly-formed foursome discuss the differences between men and women, husbands and wives and unwittingly close down the bar.

Not ready for the “party to end, the group – who are all at different stages in their respective marriages (ranging from divorced unhappy) – engage in toned down debauchery and a lot of funny, albeit meaningful conversation in the back of a Los Angeles limousine.

In a way, I guess you can look at this as a more mature, more believable version of “The Hangover” (without the belly laughs).

★★★ 1/2 of ★★★★★

“The Young Kieslowski”

The story focuses on a one-night stand gone incredibly right or incredibly wrong – depending on your point of view.

Ryan Malgarni (“Gary Unmarried”) stars as college freshman Brian Kieslowski – an awkward budding physicist who runs into brash, newly religious co-ed Leslie Mallard (played by Haley Lu Richardson – “The Well,” “Ravenswood”) at a party.

The drunken duo strike up a conversation, sparks fly and Ms. Mallard ends up pregnant … with twins.

She wants to keep the babies, he wants to keep her and neither of them are too keen on telling their own parents.

It’s honest and heartfelt and doesn’t take a pro-life or pro-choice stance … it simply focuses on the characters and the decisions they must face.

★★★ 1/2 of ★★★★★

“Just Before I Go”

The directorial debut of former “Friends” star Courteney Cox, features Seann William Scott (“American Pie” series) as Ted – a divorced, 40-somesthing pet store manager who returns to his Ohio hometown to confront his demons, before eventually killing himself.

For a first-time director, Cox does a good job of leading the cast that also includes Garret Dillahunt (“Raising Hope”) as Ted’s brother Lucky; Olivia Thirlby (“No Strings Attached”) as Greta – a random acquaintance who volunteers to serve as Ted’s suicide documentarian; Rob Riggle (“21 Jump Street”) as Ted’s middle school bully, Rawly; and Kate Walsh (“Grey’s Anatomy”) as Ted’s “sleepwalking” sister-in-law, Kathleen.

This actually reminds me a lot of a Judd Apatow movie – a lot of raunchy, “inappropriate” humor that eventually gives way (slightly) to tell a story that actually has quite a bit of heart and a message. It’s a way of dealing with some issues that are actually quite serious in a way that’s not at all heavy handed.

★★★★ of ★★★★★

The Twin Cities Film Fest continues through Saturday, Oct. 25. An encore screening of “The Last Time You Had Fun” is scheduled for 9 p.m., Friday, Oct. 24. More info at

Jared Huizenga is a freelance entertainment writer and movie critic. He can be reached at


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Woman’s club to host annual style show Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:55:46 +0000 The Bloomington Federated Woman’s Club will hold its annual fall scholarship fundraiser next month.

The fundraiser features a market, luncheon and style show, beginning 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at Minnesota Valley Country Club, 6300 Auto Club Road, Bloomington.

The market, featuring fashions, jewelry and chocolates, opens at 10:30, with the luncheon served at noon. The style show follows at 1 p.m.

Tickets are $30, and are available on Nov. 1 at 10 a.m., as well as in advance.

Info: 952 944-9794 (Donnis).

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Abuse Prevention Seminar to be held at EPHS Mon, 20 Oct 2014 17:35:55 +0000 A Night to Know the Truth, a prevention seminar for parents, teachers and youth leaders will be held from 7-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 21, in the Eden Prairie High School Auditorium, 17185 Valley View Road.

The evening will consist of an open forum for parents to ask questions as well as hear from young people once caught in addiction and how they hid their addictions from their parents. An Eden Prairie parent will also share their personal story of parenting a teen struggling with addiction. Community organizations will be on hand to discuss ways to prevent addiction in the community and provide helpful resources.

A Night to Know the Truth is an informative and inspiring event for all parents, teachers and youth leaders to prepare them to talk to their kids about drug use, how to spot signs of drug use, and about the root causes of addiction. CEU credits are available.

For more information, contact Brandi Masso,, 612-238-6190.

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People’s Choice Award winners announced Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:14:30 +0000 The first place People’s Choice Award went to “Leaping Hare,” a bronze sculpture by Edina resident Nick Legeros located at GrandView Square.

“Dancing Sand Hill Cranes” by Jim Denhe of Newton, Wis., took second place. The three-part metal sculpture is located near the intersection of West 50th Street and Halifax Avenue.

Third place went to “Argonaut,” a metal sculpture by James Bearden of Des Moines, Iowa. The sculpture is located in GrandView Square.

In addition to receiving monetary awards, People’s Choice Award winners are invited to show their sculptures in Edina for an additional year.

The award winners were announced Oct. 7 by Public Art Committee Chair Barbara La Valleur.

This year was the first time people were able to vote by using the Edina To Go mobile app, as well as paper ballots. Edina’s public art sculptures are located at 50th and France, GrandView Square and along the Promenade. This year marks Public Art’s 10th anniversary.

(Submitted photo by Barbara La Valleur)

The People’s Choice Award went to “Leaping Hare,” a bronze sculpture by Edina resident Nick Legeros located at GrandView Square.(Submitted photo by Barbara La Valleur)

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Edina pipefitter volunteers to service furnaces Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:02:34 +0000 Edina volunteer Brian Krutz, a member of the Minneapolis Pipefitters Local #539, serviced furnaces for low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners as part of the 29th Annual Heat’s On program Sept. 27.

Heat’s On helps homeowners and raises awareness to have the furnace serviced regularly and to install carbon monoxide detectors. This year, 147 volunteers statewide checked and serviced 141 furnaces to ensure they were operating efficiently and safety, and installed smoke detectors or replaced batteries in them, in Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Cloud, Mankato and Rochester. Homeowners were pre-qualified with the help of human service organizations, including the Community Action for Suburban Hennepin.

Since Heat’s On began in the Twin Cities in 1986, pipefitters in Minnesota have volunteered more than 32,833 hours, helped 7,588 homeowners at an estimated value of $3.5 million.

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Leading the way in fire safety Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:19:17 +0000 Eden Prairie FireEden Prairie has never had a fire fatality thanks to more than just good luck.

The city’s fire department was recently recognized with the Life Safety Achievement Award for its highly effective fire prevention and education strategy.

“One of the main factors considered in granting the award is the number of fire deaths in the community,” said Becki White, assistant chief-training and prevention. “Fortunately, Eden Prairie has never had a fire fatality, while many of our neighboring cities have. We are fortunate, and credit our rental housing inspection program and our educational outreach at events and school visits.”

The department received the award at the Oct. 7 Eden Prairie City Council meeting for its fire prevention accomplishments in 2013 by the National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation (NASFM Foundation) in partnership with Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company.

This the second year in a row the department has won the award. Only 12 departments in Minnesota received this award for exceptional performance. A total of 142 fire departments from 33 states were recognized.

“The heroic efforts of our local fire service aren’t limited to rushing into burning buildings to save families. They also present educational information to local schools and other community groups to make sure people know how to respond to fires and how to prevent them in the first place,” said Alan Clark, assistant vice president of Special Investigations for Grinnell Mutual. “The Life Safety Achievement Award recognizes fire departments for their fire prevention programs that have been proven to save lives year after year.”

At the end of the day, educating the public is the best way to prevent fires, according to White.

“The leading causes of fire are men, women and children, as most fires are preventable and are caused by behaviors exhibited by people,” White said. “We are trying our best to educate the community on fire safe behaviors and how to react in case they do have a fire.”

Since 1994, the Life Safety Achievement Award has recognized local fire prevention efforts that have contributed to reducing the number of lives lost in residential fires. In addition, award recipients documented active and effective fire prevention programs as well as a clear commitment to reducing the number of house fires in the community.

The EPFD’s education and outreach efforts include running a two-day safety camp for third-graders in conjunction with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, countless hours spent visiting elementary schools to teach children about fire prevention and the city’s rental housing inspection program.


Protecting rental housing

One of the EP Fire Department’s many fire prevention efforts includes the rental housing inspection program. Fire Inspector Rick Hammerschmidt was also recognized at the meeting for his efforts in creating the program. His primary responsibilities included getting into rental properties on a regular basis, identifying reoccurring fire safety issues, enforcing codes and ordinances, educating property management and tenants on codes and ordinances and helping management companies with fire safety and prevention needs.

The Eden Prairie Fire Department implemented a rental housing program in June 2006, which has brought the number of fires in Eden Prairie’s large, multi-family rental housing units to zero.

“We previously experienced regular, large loss fires in multi-family residential properties putting the residents of those properties and firefighters at risk for injury and death,” Fire Chief George Esbensen said. “Since 2006, the issue has been mitigated, and we have not had a significant multi-family fire for the past eight years.”

Eden Prairie has 33 multi-family complexes with approximately 5,370 units and approximately 1,064 one-and-two family units that are listed as rental properties. Prior to the program, Eden Prairie had regular and significant multi-family dwelling fires: Lake Place, Bay Point Lake, Eden Place, Broadmoor, Parkway, and Shadow Green.

Fire Inspector, Tony Liddell took over the rental housing program as of the beginning of 2014 and is building on the strong foundation that Rick Hammerschmidt created.

With two more awards under their belt, the Eden Prairie Fire Department isn’t planning to slow down their prevention efforts anytime soon.

“We couldn’t be more pleased to be included in such great company,” Esbensen said. “Our department is committed to educating our residents about fire prevention behaviors to minimize their chance of being put in harm’s way.”

Contact Natalie Conrad at or follow her @EPSunCurrent.

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Walk Edina Working Group seeking applicants Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:07:02 +0000 The Edina Transportation Commission is seeking applicants for its Walk Edina Working Group to address pedestrian-related issues in Edina.

Walk Edina’s mission is to advance pedestrian mobility in the city by advocating for a complete pedestrian network that serves pedestrians of all ages and abilities safely, comfortably and conveniently; serving as a resource for city staff, elected officials, the school district and the community on pedestrian-related issues; furthering public awareness and acceptance of walking as a fun, safe, convenient, healthy and sustainable mode of transportation year-round; and collaborate with other organizations to advance its vision for a progressive pedestrian-friendly community where everyone can integrate walking into their daily lives.

Walk Edina will focus on a few clear projects each year with the specific goal of improving the walking environment in Edina.

The group will meet monthly beginning in December. Meetings will be 6-7 p.m. the first Thursday of each month at Edina City Hall.

Members must be at least 18 years old, and live or work in Edina. Student members must be at least 15 years old, and live or attend school in Edina.

Applications must be received by Oct. 30.


Info: 952-826-0322 or (Transportation Commission staff liaison Mark Nolan).

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Eden Prairie man wins lottery prize Sun, 19 Oct 2014 17:38:54 +0000 Steven Nelson of Eden Prairie immediately called his wife after uncovering the $200,000 top prize on a 50X The Cash scratch ticket, according to a release from the Minnesota State Lottery.

Nelson said she was skeptical at first, so he told her, “You have to believe me; I know what I’m doing on these things.”

Nelson purchased his winning ticket at Jerry’s Foods, located at 9625 Anderson Lakes Parkway in Eden Prairie. He claimed the prize on Oct. 7 at Lottery headquarters in Roseville.

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Clay hands tell a story at Bloomington care center Sun, 19 Oct 2014 14:10:36 +0000 Lila Ness sits beneath her contribution to an art installation at Martin Luther Care Center in Bloomington. Ness told the story of her former career as a secretary through sculpture and poetry on the wall. (Sun Current staff photos by Andrew Wig)

Lila Ness sits beneath her contribution to an art installation at
Martin Luther Care Center in Bloomington. Ness told the story
of her former career as a secretary through sculpture and poetry on the wall. (Sun Current staff photos by Andrew Wig)

An enclave of senior artists has taken shape at Martin Luther Care Center in Bloomington.

They paint, they sing, they sculpt, and their most recent project is now on display – a series of clay hands affixed to the wall in the facility’s art room.

One pair holds a guitar. Another clutches an ice cream scoop; another, a roll of carnival tickets. They all tell a story.

Residents of Martin Luther – coming from previous homes in Bloomington, Richfield, Edina and Eden Prairie – collaborated with a team of poets and a clay sculptor for the project, which is part of a movement that has taken activity programming at care facilities like Martin Luther past the realm of Bingo and cribbage. Those organizing the newer wave of activities call it “lifelong learning.”

In that spirit and with funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Martin Luther Care Center teamed with Minneapolis-based Northern Clay Center and the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project Minnesota (APP MN) for a project that began about a year ago. Last November, two poets from APP MN visited with residents, listened to their stories, and wrote a collaborative poem, each stanza inspired by a different resident.


At right: Berdean Miller poses near her portion of an art installation at Martin Luther Care Center in Bloomington. Miller recalled time spent crocheting for the project.

At right: Berdean Miller poses near her portion of an art installation at Martin Luther Care Center in Bloomington.
Miller recalled time spent crocheting for the project.

Reluctant artists

Berdean Miller of Bloomington used the opportunity to recall her days crocheting items like dishrags and scarves. Miller, 87, is critical of her own work and doesn’t consider herself an “artist,” but Renee, her sculpture teacher, sees it differently.

“They all deny it, but they are,” she insisted.

Renee, who also works regularly with the residents on other clay projects, has noticed a strong strain of self-criticism with her students, but the end results of their projects – vases, figurines of animals, decorative tiles – aren’t the point.

“The goal is to have them have a creative experience and whatever comes out of that is good,” Renee said.

The goal is to jog memories and start conversations, and according to Miller’s account: mission accomplished. With the hands protruding from the art room walls, other residents’ curiosity has been piqued, Miller has noticed.

“I see people come in on weekends and they look and they wonder where this all came from,” she said.

Those drawn to the art room at Martin Luther will also notice the stanzas – comprising that collaborative poem – painted on the wall next to the hand sculptures.

Miller’s goes like this:

“I love to crochet – little squares for dishrags.

I used to knit sweaters, scarves and shawls.

My hands have washed and wiped the dishes.”

One resident’s work on display at Martin Luther Car Center was inspired by time spent playing the piano. (Sun Current staff photo by Andrew Wig)

One resident’s work on display at Martin Luther Car Center was inspired by time spent playing the piano. 

Miller has moved on from crocheting, but now, in the inverse scenario of an elementary-schooler bringing art projects home to Mom and Dad, she shares her newest works with family regularly.

“Last Christmas I gave everybody a clay present,” she said of her work, which includes figurines of birds, animals and fish.

She’ll sometimes bring her pieces to her daughter, too, warning in typical self-deprecating style, “Some of this stuff is on the primitive side, but here it is.”

Family pride often accompanies the residents’ work, Renee said – one resident, for instance, made a figurine to go atop her granddaughter’s wedding cake. Many of the residents are just now getting the chance to express themselves in this fashion, noted Sally Peterson, director of community programs for Martin Luther.

A resident at Martin Luther Care Center used a phone to express feelings about keeping in touch with family.

A resident at Martin Luther Care Center used a phone to
express feelings about keeping in touch with family.

“They didn’t have the time to maybe take an art class or to explore that part of their being, and now they have the opportunity to do that,” Peterson said.

Aging, by itself, has possibly even loosened the creative process, Peterson observed.

“Maybe, too, they’re less inhibited,” she posited.

Lila Ness, who spent most of her adult life in south Minneapolis but also lived in Richfield before arriving at Martin Luther, used the clay project to recall a career as a secretary taking notes in shorthand. The 95-year-old’s stanza, painted on the wall next to her sculpture of a hand holding a pencil, didn’t glamorize the job, but expressed a relatable, matter-of-fact sentiment:

“I’ve done a lot in my life.

I was a secretary and worked for the government for 25 years.

That’s about ten jobs in one!

I enjoyed it.

But when I was old enough to retire – I did.”

The poetry and sculpting project was just one way Martin Luther residents have been expressing themselves. Projects have included a similar poetry-clay exhibit encircling the pond on the grounds, and cover an array of other media.

The facility works with the MacPhail Center for Music in a way similar to the partnership with the Northern Clay Center, receives interactive visits from the CLIMB Theatre Company, and has its own jug band that uses items such as dishes and washboards in crafting its sound. The care center has not eschewed traditional senior activities, but there is just so much more to offer, Peterson said.

“There’s a time and a place for Bingo, but this is really about bringing the arts and higher-quality programming to our residents at a totally different level than some of the other things that we’re doing on a day-to-day basis, too,” Peterson said. “It’s really expanding their world and bringing the outside world to them.”

Contact Andrew Wig at or follow him on Twitter @RISunCurrent.

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Letter: Sutter will see the larger objectives in 49B Sun, 19 Oct 2014 05:02:48 +0000 To the editor:

As an independent voter, ideology is of no interest to me.

Brazen partisanship has created the quagmire that is suffocating government at all levels.

The candidate that gets my vote has to show that he or she is willing to roll up the sleeves and get things done. Shrill condemnations of one side or the other merely alienate others and erect barriers to solving nagging issues.

Of course, no one likes to pay taxes, but the real issue is spending wisely on things that enhance our infrastructure and society so as to steadily improve our competitiveness and quality of life.

The kind of representative we need in the southwest metro is the person that can clearly see the larger objectives and vote to fund those programs that propel Minnesota toward an ever better society.

I truly believe that Barb Sutter is just such a candidate.

Barb’s academic and work experience is accounting; she is intimately familiar with financial matters, but from a personal perspective. She has worked with a great many families in assessing their financial positions to optimize their tax obligations.

In so doing, she has learned firsthand the powerful influence tax policy can have on individual lives.

Barb knows what government spending works and what spending trickles away without lasting benefit.

But most important, Barb is not an ideologue. She looks with a discerning eye at what investments can steer us toward a better life for all. And she is always ready to amicably debate an issue to find common ground from which to build a coalition.

This is precisely what government needs, people like Barb Sutter who can make the right things happen.

Jim Phelps


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