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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Portion Of Lake Street Closed Monday - Wednesday 6a - 5p


According to Stahl Construction, the 600 block of Lake Street in Wayzata will be closed from 6 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

The closure will allow the completion of planter bed landscaping.

Democratic Candidate Challenging Incumbent Republican For Minnesota House District 33A Seat

A Democratic candidate is challenging an incumbent Republican for the Minnesota House District 33A seat.

The City of Wayzata falls in House District 33A.

Rep. Jerry Hertaus

Wayzata.com reached out to incumbent Jerry Hertaus and did not receive a response to our questions.

Hertaus was first elected to the legislature in 2012.



Caitlin Cahill

His opponent, Democrat Caitlin Cahill, answered the following questioned posed by Wayzata.com:

Why run?

As a lifelong Minnesotan and longtime resident of this district, I have first-hand insight into the values and challenges of our community. We live in some of the fastest-growing communities in the state, and we need practical, forward-thinking representation to match that growth. Business as usual will not suffice. I will make it a priority to listen to constituents and develop data-driven solutions to make our communities even better.

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

As a city council member and a former county library board member, I have over a decade of experience developing effective public policy, and I understand the interconnectedness of local government from municipal to county to the state. As a small business owner, I know the importance of open communication, which includes being available and listening to people’s concerns to identify pain points.

Tell me about your family.

My family has a tradition of public service. From my grandfathers who served in the military to my parents and siblings who have all worked in public institutions, including local schools, county government, and state services. My three siblings and I grew up in Plymouth and all graduated from the Wayzata Schools. Growing up, we enjoyed Minnesota’s wonderful outdoors, with many family road trips to state parks.

What do you see as the priorities in District 33A?

Many of our cities need support upgrading their water and sewer infrastructure to ensure safe drinking water, to protect our environment from pollution, and reduce costs to residents. We also have several roadways, such as Highway 12, in need of safety upgrades. As such, I would prioritize a robust jobs & local projects bill, which would also help counteract some of the effects of the pandemic on our construction industry. I have also heard from many small businesses and parents about the struggles of slow internet, as commerce and schools moved online due to the pandemic; I would also prioritize reliable high-speed internet across the state. Ensuring economic security and affordable healthcare for all will always be a priority for me as a legislator.



Saturday, August 01, 2020

Panoway Plaza Work Behind Schedule

As Phase 1 of the Panoway Project moves forward, portions of the work have fallen behind schedule.


600 block of Lake Street with Plaza area in the foreground (Wayzata.com photo taken 7/12/20)

The work on the plaza outside of CōV restaurant is one section of that construction.

The overall construction project and additional delays are impacting local businesses.

“It has been difficult because the majority of our guests only feel comfortable eating outside,” said Gianni’s Steakhouse owner Terri Huml. “The dust and construction are not a pleasant situation for our diners to enjoy the experience.”



Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

Stahl Construction releases a weekly report showing the plans for the upcoming weeks.


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

The paving of the plaza appeared on a previous report to be worked on the week of June 29. It has appeared on the subsequent six weeks including next week, the week of August 3.


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

On Friday, July 24, Wayzata.com asked the City of Wayzata and Stahl Construction what was causing the delay in the paving of the plaza. 


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

"There were a few elements beyond our control that has impacted the overall schedule regarding the plaza and the paving," said Stahl Construction President Jessie Houlihan. "Namely the catenary light pole base design and materials, which were stuck for a few months with the design team / procurement."


Wayzata.com photo taken 7/29/20

"Procurement means stuck with the vendor," said Wayzata City Manager Jeff Dahl. "The shipping of the actual catenary equipment has been delayed, unfortunately. There were a few needed design tweaks, as well, given all of the underground utilities running underneath."

"The plaza will be poured soon and we are projecting that the park, along with the rest of the project will be substantially completed by our original goal. There, of course, will be things that will be completed afterwards such as the catenary lighting," added Dahl.

Dahl stated that the goal has consistently been substantial completion by James J. Hill weekend which was supposed to begin Friday, Sept. 11.


In March, Stahl estimated the targeted entire project close out date as September 7.

“A lot of people ask about how the street is going to function with parking and two lanes of traffic, when is it going to be done, etc.,” said Huml. 

Stahl also stated that because the light pole footings are located over a Met Council forced sewer main and they had to come up with a different plan. Stahl said it needed Met Council’s approval and that pushed the work back by weeks.

The Met Council says that an inspector is overseeing the work in the area of the sewer main on south side of Lake Street during the Panoway project. According to the Met Council, the line enters Lake Street at Grove Lane (lift station) and continues east along Lake Street and transitions into Eastman Lane and then down Highway 101/Bushaway to Minnetonka.

The catenary lighting system is illustrated in the images below as system that will be strung over Lake Street.


Courtesy City of Wayzata

Courtesy City of Wayzata

Courtesy City of Wayzata

Meanwhile, the precast benches and walls requested by the city have also been an issue. According to Stahl, the exploration of a hybrid alternative delayed the ability to secure an order with the precast supplier. It was later determined that the hybrid alternative was not a viable solution. Once the product was confirmed to install, the order was placed, according to Stahl. The issue of benches and walls took more than two months to resolve.

As COVID-19 hit Minnesota, the Wayzata City Council decided to continue moving forward with the Panoway Lake Street construction project at a special emergency workshop meeting on Thursday, March 26.



According to the Wayzata Lake Effect "Panoway On Wayzata Bay" Phasing model,  the targeted completion date for the 600 block was July 16.

Plaza Park is targeted to be completed by August 14 according to the phasing model.

The construction is a part of the Panoway on Wayzata Bay (Lake Effect) Project Phase 1.

The city allocated roughly $9 million toward the first phase of the project.

The current Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) includes $200,000 for business impact mitigation tactics.

Earlier this year, city staff met with business owners to discuss specific tactics including “open for business” signage as well as complimentary valet services for the downtown area.

But considering the COVID-19 outbreak, the city considered different ways to allocate the funds.

“At this point we have used the funds to waive sidewalk patio fees, pay for some additional signage, and pay for overtime to expedite Panoway Construction,” said Dahl. “We have not officially waived liquor licenses fees as of yet, but we have allowed delayed payment. The Council is still considering it and if we do, that will take up the lion’s share of the $200,000.”

“It’s the most difficult thing I have ever had to deal with,” said Huml. “I'm trying to be a strong and positive leader but some days I wake up and am gripped with fear. Both COVID and construction are completely out of my control and yet both have affected my ability to run my business. My goal is to provide a safe environment for my staff and guests and offer an opportunity to dine out.”

RELATED CONTENT: Construction Work Begins On Wayzata’s Lake Street

Panoway on Wayzata Bay (Lake Effect) Background

In February of 2011, the city council appointed a Lakefront Task Force to research and provide a recommendation for the future of the City’s lakefront.

The city council adopted the Report of the Wayzata Lakefront Taskforce in January of 2012.

In March of 2014, the city council adopted the Wayzata Lakefront Final Framework Report.

Wayzata selected Civitas as the design team for the Lake Effect Signature Park schematic design in September of 2015.

On December 15, 2016, the city council approved an agreement with the Lake Effect Conservancy as a part of Resolution 29-2016 which defined the scope of the Lake Effect Project and its next steps.

That agreement states that the Conservancy will actively raise Private and Philanthropic Funding.

-------------------

RELATED CONTENT: $10M For Wayzata Lake Effect Not In Failed Senate Bonding Bill

RELATED CONTENT: Despite COVID-19 Expenses, State Bonding Bill Moving Forward, Wayzata's $10M Ask Still On Table

RELATED CONTENT: Construction Work Begins On Wayzata’s Lake Street

RELATED CONTENT: City of Wayzata Introduces Lake Effect Construction Manager Stahl Construction

RELATED CONTENT: Business Feedback On Lake Street Development Discussed

RELATED CONTENT: Gov. Walz Recommends $10M for Wayzata Lake Effect

Thursday, July 30, 2020

2020 James J. Hill Days & Beach Bash Cancelled Due To COVID Concerns

The Wayzata Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that the 2020 James J. Hill Days has been cancelled.


The Chamber said that due to Covid-19 related guidelines and concerns for the health of the community, the James J. Hill Days Steering Committee, the Wayzata Area Chamber Board of Directors, and the organizers of the Wayzata Beach Bash have made the decision to cancel the 2020 James J. Hill Days and Wayzata Beach Bash.

The next James J. Hill Days will be September 10-12, 2021.




School Districts Will Determine Fall Instruction, Wayzata To Announce Initial Plan Around Aug. 5

Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday that individual Minnesota public school districts will determine their own instruction plans for the upcoming school year as a part of the Safe Learning Plan.

COVID-19 cases in each school district will impact how school districts determine the plan for fall.


Gov. Tim Walz at news conference July 30, 2020

The State of Minnesota recommends the following learning models according to the number of COVID-19 cases.

These are recommendations that are given to the individual school districts to help determine what is best for their students and staff.




There are basically three options: 1.) Students return to class full time, 2.) Students return to class part time and do distance learning part time, 3.) Students do only distance learning.


According to a recent survey of families done by the Wayzata school district, more than half of parents interviewed were either very comfortable or comfortable with in-person instruction.

Meanwhile, more than half of school district staff stated they were very comfortable or comfortable in returning to their school/work location this fall according to a school district survey.


According to a statement released by Wayzata Public Schools on Tuesday, the school district will share an initial school reopening plan around August 5. 


Wayzata Public Schools Superintendent Chace Anderson

“The best scenario is what is in the best interest of our students, families and staff,” said Wayzata School District Superintendent Chace Anderson in a recent interview with Wayzata.com. “The pandemic is an ever-changing situation and what may be a preference today can change tomorrow. We are learning right now from other schools across the country that are opening and others that will remain closed. We will be prepared for all of the scenarios in the event one or all of them need to be implemented.”



Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Wayzata City Council Member Johanna McCarthy Running For Mayor

Wayzata City Council Member Johanna McCarthy officially filed for candidacy for Mayor of Wayzata Tuesday.

Wayzata City Council Member Johanna McCarthy

McCarthy officially filed a affidavit of candidacy on Tuesday, the first day of the filing period.


This comes less than a week after Mayor Ken Willcox announced he will not seek re-election.


McCarthy was first elected to the Wayzata City Council in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018.

Meanwhile, fellow City Council Members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash filed to run again for their city council seats.

City Council Members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash

Filing for the mayor and the two council member seats began on July 28. That window closes on August 11.

Below is a list of city council election results since 2000.

Source: Minnesota Secretary of State/City of Wayzata

(* = winner)

2000

Mayor

*Barry Petit 1,194 (votes)
Sue Bangert 1,129

City Council (two seats)

*Robert (Bob) Ambrose 1,372
*Robyn Cook 1,190
Lynn Gruber 1,020

2002

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Humphrey 1,028
*Sue Bangert 1022
Barry Birkholz 763
Gayle Wilson 677

2004

Mayor

*Andrew Humphrey 1,989 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Ken Willcox 1,244
*John Berns 1,211
Jim Gooley 933

2006

City Council (two seats)

*Sue Bangert 1,126
*Jack Amdal 758
Tom Tanner 695
Doug Hudson 539

2008

Mayor

*Ken Willcox 1,803 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Mullin 1,210
*Mary Bader 1,196
Tom Tanner 948

2010

City Council (two seats)

*Tom Tanner 898
*Jack Amdal 861
Jim Wilson 749

2012

Mayor

*Ken Willcox 1,842 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Andrew Mullin (re elected) 1261
*Bridget Anderson 1079
Alex Plechash 1076


2014

City Council (two seats)

*Steven Tyacke 865
*Johanna McCarthy 799
Alex Plechash 789
Jack Amdal 730


2016

Mayor

*Ken Willcox 2,226 (unopposed)

City Council (two seats)

*Dan Koch 1,718 (unopposed)
*Alex Plechash 1,715 (unopposed)

2018

City Council (two seats)

*Johanna McCarthy ,1337
*Jeff Buchanan 1,028
Cathy Iverson 956
Barry Petit 821

Monday, July 27, 2020

Back To School: What Will It Look Like For Wayzata School District?



No doubt, the biggest question on the minds of Minnesota parents is whether public schools will open back up in the fall.

The state should be releasing guidelines soon. Those guidelines will need to be followed by the school.

There are three options: 1.) Students return to class fulltime, 2.) Students return to class part time and do distance learning part time, 3.) Students do only distance learning.

“The best scenario is what is in the best interest of our students, families and staff,” said Wayzata School District Superintendent Chace Anderson. “The pandemic is an ever-changing situation and what may be a preference today can change tomorrow. We are learning right now from other schools across the country that are opening and others that will remain closed. We will be prepared for all of the scenarios in the event one or all of them need to be implemented.”

Kim Anderson and family live in Wayzata

This past spring parents needed to quickly switch gears as their students adapted to distance learning.

“We probably were thriving at it three days in total and the rest of the time, simply surviving it,” said Kim Anderson, Wayzata resident and mother of three students in the Wayzata School District.
Anderson said she, her husband and kids were committed to sticking with the online program.

Anderson family e-learning chart

“When things were starting to go off the rails, we stopped and took a break, went outside, rode bikes, got some fresh air,” said Anderson.  “I knew in the back of my mind that we were in it for the long haul and I wasn't willing to fight and get frustrated over getting it done when I knew how hard this was on them and us.”

Wayzata Public Schools Superintendent Chace Anderson

“We learned a lot from our distance learning last year and believe we will be even better capable to continue distance learning if needed this year,” said Chace Anderson. “As for in-person learning, we have been working throughout the summer with our staff to make sure we will have the safest environment for learning given the circumstances. A team of 40 staff from across the district are in the midst of planning for each of the scenarios that may be directed by the state and will be sharing more information with families and staff in early August.”

"Parents in the district have been reaching out to me, to other school board members, to principals and to the superintendent, in a variety of combinations, to articulate their hopes and concerns for the upcoming school year,” said Wayzata Public Schools Board Member Seanne Falconer. “These parent communications have been invaluable in bringing to light nuanced issues and offering novel solutions and I really appreciate that they've connected with me. I've kept a log of them as well as passed them all on to Dr. Anderson and his team who are building out the plans for every possible learning scenario.”

Wayzata Public Schools Board Member Seanne Falconer 

“As a working parent of two young grade-schoolers, I've heard from many parents who are in my family's exact same situation who offered very different ideas of what the district should do,” said Falconer. “But all of the communications I've received shared the same urgency and concern for their kids' physical and emotional health, academic progress and access to the teachers and paraprofessionals that their kids rely on for their Wayzata education." 

“I believe a hybrid is probably the best, most reasonable and realistic approach,” said Kim Anderson. 

 “I believe in the risks and seriousness of COVID-19, so the idea of continuing to send my kids into an environment where they could catch it, bring it home and/or infect family members weighs on my mind and heart.  But I balance that against their emotional, mental, and physical well-being and believe that some (if not all) in-person learning will be better for them, than staying at home.”

Wayzata Public Schools recently completed a survey that showed most parents prefer to have their children in school. The survey said that parents want this to be done in a safe manner.

“The challenge is how to accomplish that, which is what we are working on,” said Chace Anderson. “Our mission is to teach each and every student as safely as possible considering this global pandemic. “

Kim Anderson worries about her children getting sick and about the safety of teachers, friends and extended family members. But she acknowledges there is a balance between physical and mental health.

“I go back to the data, the general likelihood of mild symptoms in most people, especially children and weigh that against the overall emotional, physical and mental well-being of them being back at school,” said Kim Anderson.

Another survey found that most of the schools’ staff are comfortable with returning. 

“We are experiencing something that we have never experienced before, that alone is enough to create concern,” said Chace Anderson. “We have dedicated professionals who believe in what they do, believe in their students and believe in our community and will be there with them every step of the way however learning may look in the fall.”

“I just want to thank all the teachers and staff of Wayzata Schools for all they did during the very difficult distance learning period of last school year,” said Kim Anderson.  “And what they are continuing to do to evaluate the right, smartest and safest options for moving foward in the coming school year, in light of the ongoing pandemic.  There was always updated and sufficient communication from the district, our teachers and staff at Gleason Lake were incredible.”

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Four Compete For Third Congressional District Seat

 

U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips is up for re-election in Minnesota Congressional District 3.

Wayzata is located in Congressional District 3.

                   

Phillips will be challenged in the August 11 primary by fellow Democrat Cole Young.

Both Phillips and Young did not respond to questions from Wayzata.com

Meanwhile, Republicans Leslie Davis and Kendall Qualls will square off in the primary.

Below are the answers to questions posed to Davis and Qualls. The candidates’ responses are listed in alphabetical order by the candidate’s last name.

Leslie Davis


 Why run?

What would the Founders have done if the Brits told them to stay home AND CLOSE THE SCHOOLS?

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

I am a parent, army veteran, salesman, lobbyist, NRA gun certified, money expert, and founder/president/owner 
of the Veteran Certified Earth Protector Licensing Corporation for 36 years. www.EarthProtector.org

Tell me about your family.

4 children - attorney, gemologist, teacher, bum.
12 grandchildren - all smart and doing well.

What do you see as the priorities in the 3rd District?

Safety, Health, Babies, Money, Jobs, Energy, Drug War.


What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

I am experienced in money, politics, pollution, and economic subjects.


How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of Representative to Congress in your mind?

They don't understand the hoax part of Covid and are acting irrationally by allowing and supporting the creation of more debt money.


How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of Representative to Congress in your mind?

While George Floyd's character is of ill repute, Congress is OUTRAGED at his murder and thinking about what to do. 


Kendall Qualls



Why run?

Residents of the Third District deserve courageous leaders who are focused, disciplined, and honest; who will take a stand when times are hard.

Third District residents deserve leaders who won’t say one thing then throw those promises out the window when they get to Washington.

We face tough problems today, problems I can address in a meaningful way because of my personal and professional experiences.

In doing so, we’ll build bridges that will make America better, stronger and more united than ever before.

 

How has your background/experience prepared you for this position?

I’m a leader with both military and corporate experience that is outside the world of politics.

 After college, I went on active duty as a Field Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army, including time in the DMZ in Korea. 

For 27 years, I led global teams in the healthcare industry with Fortune 100 companies such as Johnson & Johnson, Roche Labs and Medtronic. 

For the past 15 years, I’ve worked to transform stagnant or declining business units in the pharmaceutical and medical technology industries by introducing transformative strategies. Most recently, I worked for an innovative health-care startup that helps cancer patients tackle their disease.

Because of my military and corporate experience, I know how to create a vision and move people toward a goal that is larger than each individual and that transcends racial, economic and gender differences.

Tell me about your family.

Sheila and I met in high school, and I’ve been committed to her ever since. We attended college together and got married in 1986 after Sheila graduated. We have five children and a Black Lab named Largo.

What do you see as the priorities in the 3rd District?

Ensure safe and secure communities.

Reopen, revitalize, secure, and strengthen our economy.

Improve healthcare protection and lower healthcare costs.

Ensure America’s safety through a peace through strength foreign policy that avoids nation-building entanglements. 

What differentiates yourself from your opponent?

I didn’t have a life of privilege. I grew up in poverty, and success came the old-fashioned way: I had to earn it.

Unlike my opponent, who campaigned as a moderate but has voted nearly 100 percent of the time with the far left progressive wing of his party, I will be a strong, pragmatic and independent voice for our communities.

I have over 25 years of healthcare experience that I will use as we manage, and emerge from, a global pandemic.

I’ll put aside partisan game playing and focus on the issues that matter.

How has the development of COVID-19 and the economic downtown impacted the role of Representative to Congress in your mind?

The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the need for Congress to address the economic recovery of our nation, and the long term fiscal impacts caused by increased deficit spending.  My background includes significant work restoring the health of struggling business units by introducing transformative strategies that change their culture, mindset and financial bottom line. Congress is in dire need of similar leadership, and I won’t be afraid to fight for the fiscal discipline our country needs.   

How has George Floyd’s death, protests and riots impacted the role of Representative to Congress in your mind?

George Floyd’s tragic death illuminated the need for change in police strategy, training, and monitoring. That is why I have introduced a comprehensive proposal for police reform, retraining and support. At the same time, it is imperative that we give police officers the support and training they need. Calls to “defund” police departments from many in my opponent’s party are reckless and put the most vulnerable in our society, including seniors and the disabled at risk.

The majority of police officers risk their lives on a daily basis to protect and serve the community. As the child of a single mother during the turmoil of the late 1960s and early 1970s in Harlem, I know what it feels like to go to bed with violence and destruction outside my apartment window. The one thing I needed, like all children, was safety and security. Police officers are there to provide the safety and security for those who cannot defend themselves, and their property, from harm.

Anything else you would like to add?

Over the course of my life, I’ve been called many things–ghetto kid, trailer trash, veteran, businessman, husband, father–but I never dreamed I’d be called candidate for U.S. Congress. 

America is an exceptional place full of exceptional people with opportunity for all. I’m living proof of it. This country has provided me with a foundation of commitment, compassion and courage, as well as the leadership skills I’ll take to Congress to put to work for you.

To learn more about me or connect with our campaign, visit kendallforcongress.com, or call 612-512-1155. I would be honored to earn your vote in the August 11 Primary Election, and November 3 General Election.





Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Wayzata Mayor Willcox Will Not Seek Re-Election

Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox has announced he will not seek re-election this fall.

Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox

Willcox stated that after 12 years as Mayor it was time for new leadership and fresh ideas.

Willcox was first elected to the Wayzata City Council in 2004. He was elected Mayor in 2008 and was subsequently re-elected for two additional 4-year terms.


Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Wayzata PD Warns Of Mailbox Thefts


The Wayzata Police Department has taken several reports of thefts from mailboxes. 



The residential mailboxes were located in the eastern portion of the city with a majority along Bushaway Road and Central Avenue South. 

According to police, several of the mailboxes were locked and were forced open. 

The police department states that this is a crime that can additionally facilitate identity theft, credit and check fraud, and other forgery and fraud type crimes. 

This is a metro area issue and is not exclusive to Wayzata. 

Police recommend that you do not put outgoing mail in your mailbox. 

Collect any incoming mail as soon as practical after it is delivered. 

As always, watch out for your neighbors and call 911 to report any suspicious activity