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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.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Cold COVID Concerns, Winter’s Challenges & Opportunities

Winter doesn’t officially begin until Dec. 21. But we’ve already had a taste of it – a cold, snowy mid-October dose.

Domed shelters outside Hotel Landing, Wayzata
 

And with colder weather comes greater concern about the spread of COVID-19.

It’s a pretty simple idea – folks who live in Wayzata or any other place in Minnesota generally spend more time outdoors when the weather is warmer. Of course, there are many outdoor enthusiasts who love the winter weather, but for the most part, Minnesotans spend more time inside when temperatures drop.

Spending more time indoors in small or larger gatherings lends itself to greater transmission of the disease. Also, similar viruses survive better in lower humidity which of course winter is known for. Finally, the holidays will present their own challenges – indoor family gatherings, potential travel, etc.

But let’s face it, we’ve stared down a lot of challenges in 2020 and we’ve marched on.

Hand washing, mask wearing, and other precautions have helped and will continue to help.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has provided a guide for upcoming holiday celebrations. You can review that guide here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html

The health of Wayzata’s business community is also something to watch. Sure, there have been some businesses that have closed shop and moved out, but there are others that have specifically chosen Wayzata as their new home. And the mainstays have weathered the storm – adjusting the way they do business to accommodate a new reality and keep serving their customers.

Back to the indoor/outdoor idea again. It’s tough to beat Wayzata on a warm, sunny day. But this community also has fantastic outdoor winter recreation choices. And this may just be the winter season you make that extra effort to put on an extra layer and get outside.

Soon Klapprich Park will transform from a baseball field and dog park to a skating and hockey rink. And down the road, once the ice depth of Lake Minnetonka is at a safe level, ice fishing and cross-country skiing will be an option.

The Wayzata Parks and Trails Board recently discussed potential outdoor winter activities on the newly constructed Lake Street park plaza.

Currently, the city of Wayzata is working with Hennepin County on a Business Assistance Grant in order to increase winter activity with outdoor dining spaces, events and programming.

During the last Parks and Trails Board meeting, members discussed potential outdoor activities for the plaza.

Some of the ideas floated were curling, watching sporting events on a large screen, bonfires, snow sculptures and music. Stay tuned on that.

Yes, there are reasons why there may be a COVID surge in the coming weeks. But we’ve had nearly nine months of preparation and plenty of opportunities to make outdoor recreation a safe option during the cold months ahead.

Eagles score 21 in 4th Quarter, Defense plays well as Trojans fall 36-13 to Eden Prairie


Hayden Davison tackles Eden Prairie QB David Warren-Mitchell. WayzataPhotography.com

 Your Wayzata Football Trojans have looked very good all season long in spite of an 0-3 record.

Last Friday night they played Eden Prairie well enough to win until the 4th quarter when the Eagles scored 3 touch downs to put the game out of reach. The Trojans were plagued by turnovers and penalties which makes it difficult to win against good teams.

“The defense played well enough for us to win tonight, we just need to finish,” stated Head Coach Lambert Brown. He added, “We need to continue to get better, and that starts with me.”

Trojan QB Ryan Harvey completed 10 passes for 193 yards and 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. RB Anthony Richmond rushed 20 times for 85 yards. Receiver Julian Diedrich caught 6 passes for 96 yards and a TD, and Drew Berkland caught 2 passes for 65 yards and a TD.

The Trojans travel to Minnetonka (1-2) Friday. Pictures & more online: Wayzata.com,
Facebook.com/wayzata, Twitter.com/wayzata

Julian Diedrich celebrates a 46 yard reception for touchdown. WayzataPhotography.com

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wayzata Schools Launch COVID-19 Dashboard

Wayzata Public Schools launched a COVID-19 Dashboard to track positive COVID-19 cases present in the schools and district buildings. 

The Wayzata Public Schools COVID-19 Dashboard has been created to track positive COVID-19 cases present in our district schools and buildings. The COVID-19 Dashboard, which can be found on the Wayzata Learns webpage, will be updated each Wednesday with new information from the previous week.

https://www.wayzataschools.org/wayzatalearns#dashboard

 



Positive cases will be reported when there have been 5 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in students or staff who were in the school or building during the past 7-day period. This is consistent with how the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is reporting school data and is being done to protect the health privacy of our staff and students. Schools with fewer than 5 new cases will be indicated with a "-" in the chart.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Sports Update: From the Notebook

Wayzata Football - The Trojans fell to 0-2 on the season after losing on the road to St. Michael-Albertville 21-14. Wayzata led late in the 3rd quarter after QB Ryan Harvey hit Wide Receiver Julian Diedrich for a touchdown to make it 14-7 Trojans. Two scores by the Knights, a 64 yard TD scamper by David Collins, and a 74 yard pass and catch from Jack Drobinski Knight running back Max Keefer proved too much for the Trojans. 

Girls Cross Country - Sophomore Abby Nechanicky won her 2nd title in as many years at the 6AA Section Cross Country Meet with a time of 17:31.5. Grace Link also finished in 9th place. The Trojans finished third with 63 points. There is no state meet this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Boys Cross Country - Daniel McCollor placed 4th with a time of 16:29.4 at the Section 6AA Championships. Wayzata placed 5th with 105 points. There is not state meet this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Girls Soccer - The 2nd seeded Trojans defeated the 7th seeded Armstrong Falcons 4-0 in the Section 6AA quarterfinals. Abby Brantner scored two goals in the contest to help propel Wayzata into the semifinals against Hopkins on Tuesday. Grace Estby and Ramira Ambrose also scored. 

Boys Soccer - The top seeded Trojans are ranked number one in the State, and were able to dispatch the Cooper Hawks 4-0 in the Section 6AA quarterfinals. Mike Orlow, Miles Akhigbe, Joe Highfields, and Peter Melquist scored in the contest. Wayzata will host Minneapolis Southwest in the Semifinals on Tuesday. 

Girls Tennis - The Trojans defeated Maple Grove in the Section 5A Girls Tennis Championship. Emma Hawkinson and Emily mendel won the 3rd set tiebreaker in 2nd doubles to put Wayzata over the top in the 4-3 contest.

Volleyball moves to 3-0 as Trojans defeat St. Michael Albertville 3 sets to 1

 After a delayed start to the season due to Coronavirus the Wayzata Girls Volleyball team moved to 3-0 as they defeated the St. Michael Albertville Knights at home on Wedensday, Oct. 14th.

Wayzata won: 25-23, 21-25, 26-24, 25-21

Olivia Swenson had 18 kills in the match against St. Michael
Albertville. Photo Wayzata Photography.

Wayzata was resilient in the match as the Knights would repeatedly take a lead and the Trojans would battle back to win the sets.

Head Coach Scott Jackson spoke with Wayzata.com after the match, “St. Michael, they have a great team. STMA is building a great program. We were fortunate to get out with the win.”

Jackson added, “It’s MEA, normally we are getting ready for playoffs, but right now we are really developing still. We lost a lot of talented seniors, there are some new pieces, we are really just putting our team together.”

Freshman Olivia Swenson had 18 kills, Katy Riviere had 10, Mel Goldstein and Sierra Moore had 7, Stella Swenson had 5, and Emma Goerger had 3.

Stella Swenson also had 40 sets, and 4 aces.

View the photo gallery here.

Community Weighs In On Police Body Cams, Wayzata PD Program Begins In November

The city of Wayzata recently wrapped up an online community poll regarding police worn body cameras. 

Image Courtesy City of Wayzata
 

The Wayzata Police Department will be implementing the program beginning in November.

The police department has been working on the program for several years.

“We are now falling in line with many other agencies as body cameras have now become somewhat a norm,” said Wayzata Police Chief Mike Risvold at a recent city council meeting. “The transparency and the accountability are key.”

High-profile police-citizen interactions across the country have brought police body cameras to the forefront.

“We look at the critical incidences that we see nationwide and the importance of having that video evidence.”

Acceptance of the use of body cameras by police officers has changed through the years.

"Officers have gone from 'we don't want to open that can of worms' to 'we can't have them fast enough'," said Risvold.

"The timing is right to get this thing going," added Risvold.

The cost of the body camera program is just under $12,000 per year on a five-year contract.

You can review the body worn camera policy here: www.wayzata.org/bodycams

Here are the results of the Wayzata Police Department Body Worn Camera Policy Survey conducted via polco.us:

 

Where do you live?

Wayzata - 76% (47)

Long Lake - 11% (7)

Neither Wayzata nor Long Lake - 13% (8)

 

What is your gender?

Female - 50% (31)

Male - 50% (31)

 

What is your age?

20-34 years - 6% (4)

35-54 years - 40% (25)

55-64 years - 35% (22)

65 years and over - 18% (11)

 

I feel concerned about my privacy when having to deal with officers wearing body cameras.

Strongly Agree - 2% (1)

Agree - 5% (3)

Neutral - 10% (6)

Disagree - 35% (22)

Strongly Disagree - 48% (30)

 

An interaction with the police is less likely to result in a confrontation if everybody knows the

interaction is being recorded with body worn video.

Strongly Agree - 47% (29)

Agree - 42% (26)

Neutral - 5% (3)

Disagree - 5% (3)

Strongly Disagree - 2% (1)

 

Police use of body worn video is a step in the right direction.

Strongly Agree - 56% (35)

Agree - 39% (24)

Neutral - 5% (3)

Disagree - 0%

Strongly Disagree - 0%

 

Body worn video protects police against false accusations.

Strongly Agree - 66% (41)

Agree - 34% (21)

Neutral - 0%

Disagree - 0%

Strongly Disagree - 0%

 

Police should be required to notify individuals when they are being recorded on body worn video.

Strongly Agree - 15% (9)

Agree - 26% (16)

Neutral - 19% (12)

Disagree - 27% (17)

 

I feel safer when a police officer is wearing a video camera.

Strongly Agree - 44% (27)

Agree - 31% (19)

Neutral - 21% (13)

Disagree - 3% (2)

Strongly Disagree - 2% (1)

 

It is acceptable for Police to record body worn video as part of their official duties.

Strongly Agree - 58% (36)

Agree - 37% (23)

Neutral - 5% (3)

Disagree - 0%

Strongly Disagree - 0%

 

An officer should be able to view (not edit) body worn video prior to writing a report.

Strongly Agree - 34% (21)

Agree - 40% (25)

Neutral - 15% (9)

Disagree - 8% (5)

Strongly Disagree - 3% (2)

 

All police interactions with the public should be recorded with body worn video.

Strongly Agree - 42% (26)

Agree - 35% (22)

Neutral - 16% (10)

Disagree - 5% (3)

Strongly Disagree - 2% (1)

 

Police officers collect body worn video to protect me.

Strongly Agree - 34% (21)

Agree - 45% (28)

Neutral - 15% (9)

Disagree - 6% (4)

Strongly Disagree - 0%

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS:

Are there specific questions you believe the Wayzata Police Department's body worn camera policy should address?

By individual officer, what is your answers to the questions we just answered from your concept and perception?

The policy of turning the camera off. What will be the policy of releasing footage whether it clears and officer or not. What is done

When video is appropriately shared (nude video, graphic, etc). How long is video kept that is not part of a criminal proceeding?

Will these videos be reviewed regularily?

What role does body camera footage play when police are responding to medical emergencies in their communities?

Thank you for the survey!

I believe that routine interaction with police should not require body camera use, Police should turn their camera on when the

Interaction becomes non-routine, or when their is evidence that a law has been broken. (other then minor traffic infractions).

No questions. My family supports the Police Department 100%, and if they need body cam footage to protect themselves from false accusations, it is fine by us.

Fines and suspension, etc when someone turns off their camera. Cannot allow some incidents to be filmed and others not. I’m in favor of

The ability for people to “screen” their personal identifying information (address, name, etc) from the general public, especially if a mental health condition is the underlying issue and reason for the call vs a crime (ie, Probably not a good idea to be posting all film publicly unless there is a dispute. Allow citizens to protect their ID if desired, within reason). Use common sense to protect privacy.

Body cams should be auto-on. Police shouldn't have to turn it on - they may forget or selectively omit when they don't want to record

When police are required to turn them on. It should be all the time.

Policy for disciplining officers if they don’t reliably or consistently use their PRS.

Security of stored body cam video e.g. against tampering or unauthorized access

This is not a question, but a comment. As a person who has had the opportunity to ride numerous times (15+ years ago) with many impressive officers of two suburban metro-mpls police departments, I can see how the use of a body cam can be a real benefit (potentially to both the officer and the citizen) and also "one more thing to manage in a quickly unfolding situation". I'm sure it can be a powerful training tool, and a way to recall very dynamic situations. Hopefully, it is not in any was a liability to the officer as one more thing to think of when timing counts. My hope is that this tool will be an enhancement to the job and not an encumbrance. With that, thank you for what you do to keep us safe, and act as a valuable resource! We hope that unsuitable cops can be dealt with so that the good cops can do what they do so well! Thank you for being there for us!

Are there questions community advocates should ask Wayzata Police Department during the development of the body camera program?

What is done with the digital recordings? Hourly? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly or annually or forever? Is this like DNA evidence that remains part of every interaction in perpetuity?

Yes, what about gun cameras in addition to or in place of, body cameras. They are less money and are made locally in Maple Plain. Viridian Weapon Technologies.

Will they be on at all times? not have the ability to be turned off?

Does the body camera policy and system include night vision capability?

Thank you for the opportunity!

What is best practice to protect the public in allowing police to review or not review recorded video prior to writing a report?

Not really a question but I would like to have normal day-day conversations with police without it being recorded. I also believe their should be a high bar for release of any recordings regardless of whether or not a law has been broken.

Will they be able to turn it off? Why?

Are body worn camera recording audited to find police that may be breaking rules unknowingly or knowingly? Who should be doing the auditing to ensure there’s no conflict of interest?

Whose input has been gathered in this process? The police work for the people, and if the surveys have mostly been encouraged by police officers asking friends/ family to take it, or if the police force is equal or greater than the voice of citizens, that's not democracy. It should be citizen's choice, with strong police input AND what the data says around impact and risks of body cams.

Why would cops prefer not to do cams? It seems like it's a win-win for all parties.

When pulling people over and as son as they turn their camera on, should they record their initial reason or rationale for pulling someone over?

How do the Wayzata Police officers feel about this, pros/cons?

I think regarding the officer reviewing video prior to writing reports: the procedure that Wayzata adopts should be the procedure that offers the highest level of protection and service to the public. Moreover, the procedure Wayzata uses should be whatever procedure is consider best practice across the nation. The Volusia County Sherriff's dept of Florida has become a model of success for training officers to serve a diverse population. I would like our police dept to adopt regular training that is similar to that of Volusia County.