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.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

OBITUARY: Martin J. "Marty" O'Connor

O’Connor, Martin J. “Marty”, age 51 of Wayzata passed suddenly March 29, 2011.

Preceded in death by his parents, Dick and Betty O’Connor.

Survived by his children, Caitlin O’Connor, Rick O’Connor and Jaime (Chris) Sutherland; granddaughter, Haley; siblings, Bobby and Nancy O’Connor; special aunt and uncle “Gramma and Grampa”, Bobby and Georgia O’Connor.

Marty was a one of a kind, hard working, hard living, outspoken guy who would give anyone the shirt off his back. He had a great love of the outdoors and enjoyed hunting and fishing with his kids and friends. He was bigger than life and the sound of his voice will ring in the ears of many for years to come.

Memorial service 3:30 PM Saturday, April 2, 2011 at David Lee Funeral Home, 1220 E. Wayzata Blvd., Wayzata with visitation beginning at 1 PM.

Following the service there will be a gathering of family and friends at the Wayzata American Legion.

David Lee Funeral Home
Wayzata 952-473-5577

Wayzata Police Blotter March 22 - 28, 2011

McGruff says, "Take
a bite out of crime!"
The Wayzata Police Blotter is brought to you by the Wayzata Crime Prevention Coalition, a non-profit group that raises awareness and money to assist the Wayzata Police Department in keeping Wayzata a safe Community. For more information, or to get involved, visit Take a bite out of crime!

Theft From Auto Reported: 03-28-2011 1952
Theft of Garmin GPS Unit from vehicle / loss $120
Addresses Involved
215 Barry Ave S, Wayzata

Possible Burglary Report Reported: 03-26-2011 1420
Possible attempted burglary / no loss
Addresses Involved
1XX Broadway Ave N, Wayzata

Burglary Reported: 03-22-2011 0428
Forced entry burglary of Wayzata Bar and Grill / no loss / under investigation
Addresses Involved
810 Superior Blvd 1X, Wayzata

H & R PDMV 4
911 HANG-UP 3


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Wayzata Women's Chorus to Perform Music for Competition in Wales

The Wayzata Women’s Chorus will be presenting its 25th Annual Spring Concert ”DAFFODILS & DRAGONS—ON OUR WAY TO WALES” by featuring the music they will perform at the Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod Competition in Llangollen, Wales to be held July 6-11, 2011. They will compete in the classical and folk categories. Competition selections include “Cherubim Song No. 7” by Dimitri Bortniansky; “Love Is A Rain Of Diamonds” by Gwyneth Walker; “Festival Sanctus” by John Leavitt; “Hark, I Hear The Harps Eternal” arranged by Alice Parker; and, “The Gift To Be Simple” arranged by Bob Chilcott.

The Llangollen International Music Eisteddfod Competition is the premier competition of music, song and dance that includes people from all over the world. The Wayzata Women’s Chorus is extremely honored to be selected as one of four competitors from the United States. The most famous winner of this competition is Luciano Pavarotti who won in 1955—the first year of the competition.

On Saturday, May 14th, the concert will be held at Wayzata Evangelical Free Church, 705 County Road 101 North in Plymouth, MN at 7:00 p.m.

On Sunday, May 15th, there will be a repeat performance of the concert at Faith United Methodist Church, 2708 33rd Avenue NE in St Anthony, MN at 7:00 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Tickets are $15 for adults; $12 for seniors 65+ and youth 5-17; children under 5 are free. Tickets can be purchased by a member of the WWC; at the door; by calling Carla Erpelding at 612/788-6862; or, by emailing Carla Erpelding at

The chorus is directed by Carole Birch and accompanied by Mary Fadden.

Founded in 1986, this award-winning chorus is composed of women of many ages who share a love of music and enjoy performing in a variety of venues. The chorus is well respected for the depth of their repertoire. They attained the Bronze Level at the Salzburg, Austria Choral Competition in 1995 and participated in the North Carolina Music Festival in 1997. In June 2006, they performed in the Southern New England Music Festival in Boston. July, 2011—WALES—HERE WE COME!!


2011 Wayzata Community Church Rummage Sale dates released

Wayzata Community Church’s Huge Sale Carries on Tradition

Shoppers seeking one of the Twin Cities’ biggest sales should definitely come to Wayzata August 17-18. That’s when WAYZATA COMMUNITY CHURCH will hold its 90th Annual Rummage Sale (9 am-8 pm Wednesday 8/17, 9 am-6 pm Thursday 8/18). Bargain hunters will find thousands of cheap, high-quality items including designer clothes and handbags, furs, jewelry, books, furniture, china, glassware, framed art, tools, bicycles, sporting goods and more.

The money raised supports worthy causes: net proceeds are granted to charitable agencies that help families, children, education and the homeless. The 2010 Sale took in $205,000. Wayzata Community Church is located at 125 E Wayzata Blvd. For more information call 952-473-8877 or go to


Second Annual Taste for Wayzata Public Schools Scheduled for April 20th

The Wayzata Public Schools Education Foundation invites you to attend the second annual Taste for Wayzata Public Schools on Wednesday, April 20th from 6:30-9:00 p.m. Mark your calendars to treat yourself to an evening of great food, wine and fun with friends!

This casual culinary event will showcase a variety of delights from your favorite local restaurants who have come together in support of the Wayzata Public Schools and its children. Gourmet treats will be provided by Axel's Bonfire, Davanni's, Famous Dave's, Green Mill Restaurant and Bar, Jake's City Grille, Joe Senser's Sports Grill and Bar, Peg's Catering, Robert's Restaurant and Bar, Sunsets and other local Wayzata restaurants. Additionally, door prizes will be awarded.

The event will be held Wednesday, April 20th from 6:30-9:00 p.m. at the Comfort Inn, 3000 Harbor Lane in Plymouth. Tickets are $30 each and can be purchased now at our website ( This event is hosted by the Wayzata Public Schools Education Foundation with the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Wayzata. All proceeds will support curricular programs in the Wayzata Public Schools.

About The Wayzata Public Schools Education Foundation

The Wayzata Public Schools Education Foundation was formed in June 2003 by a group of concerned parents and community leaders who wanted to ensure academic excellence across the district despite unreliable state and federal funding for public schools. The Foundation's sole focus is to maintain and sustain the high quality of education in the Wayzata Public Schools. WPSEF is a fund of the Minnesota Community Foundation. For more information, visit


OBITUARY: Shawn M. Garlinghouse

Garlinghouse, Shawn M. Beloved husband, son, brother & friend Age 30, passed away March 25, 2011.

Survived by wife, Teresa; parents, Ann & Tom; brothers, Grant (Tara) & Michael; parents-in-law, Eileen & Craig Norenberg; along with countless friends and family.

Visitation Thursday March 31, 5-8pm. Funeral Friday April 1, 11am, both at Wayzata Free Church, 705 County Road 101 N, Plymouth, MN 55447.

He is now with the Lord, resting in the precious arms of Jesus.

In lieu of flowers, memorials to the family for future designation.

David Lee Funeral Home
Wayzata 952-473-5577

Monday, March 28, 2011

OBITUARY: Aloma Dreblow

Dreblow, Aloma J. (Knutson) Age 83, of Savage, passed away March 23, 2011.

Preceded in death by husband, George, and brothers, Kerwin and Duane Knutson.

Survived by children, Terry (Linda), Carter (Cindy), Jill (Tom) Dixson; grandchildren, Taryn Netzer, Robb Dreblow, Benjamin Dreblow, and Molly Dreblow.

Visitation 5-7 PM Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at David Lee Funeral Home, 1220 East Wayzata Blvd., Wayzata.

Private family service to follow visitation.

David Lee Funeral Home
Wayzata 952-473-5577

OBITUARY: Lawrence K. Moran

Moran, Lawrence Kenneth Age 82 of Wayzata.

Survived by beloved wife, Chloe; daughters, Sheryl and son-in-law Terry Samples, and Teri Moran; son, Larry Steven Moran; step daughters, Rebecca Held and Jennifer Warford ; and step son-in-law John Warford; 10 grandchildren, 12 great grandchildren, sister, Louis Sprain and brother-in-law Marlow Sprain and children.

Member of Lafayette Country Club and the Elks Club. Lawrence was a fighter pilot during WWII and served a long career as a mining engineer.

A private service and burial will be held at Lakewood Cemetery.

David Lee Funeral Home
Wayzata 952-473-5577

OBITUARY: Albert Japs

Japs, Albert H. Age 91, of Long Lake, passed away March 24, 2011 at St. Therese Care Center in New Hope.

Preceded in death by parents, wife Olene; son, Dean Weiland; sisters, Addie Krueger, Lillian Heinzen, Lydia Bryant; brothers, Louis, Fredrick, and George Japs.

Al was a loving husband, and a wonderful father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He was a loyal friend who was always there to help. He served his country in WWII in the Pacific front. He was a 60 year lifetime member of the American Legion.

Al is missed and will live on in the hearts of everyone who loved him. Survived by daughters, Sandra (Dick) Brown, Joan (Larrie) Fadden; daughter-in-law, Twyla Weiland; grandchildren, Marlyce Weiland (Augie Nelson), Darcie Molitor, Julie (Ross) Bakken, Paul (Gennifer) Fadden, Tim Weiland, Todd (Kym) Weiland, Craig Brown, Colin (Jennifer) Brown; great-grandchildren, Amy Molitor, Tina Bakken, Tyler Bakken, Katie Helland, Kendra Weiland, Gabrielle Fadden, Callie Brown, Madison Brown; great-great- grandchild, Nyeim Weiland; sister, Florence Heinzen and sister-in-law, Lorraine Japs as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.

Funeral service 10 AM Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at David Lee Funeral Home, 1220 East Wayzata Blvd., Wayzata.

Visitation 5-7 PM Monday, at the funeral home.

Interment at Summit Park Cemetery.

Memorials to St. Therese, 8000 Bass Lake Rd., New Hope, MN 55428.

David Lee Funeral Home
Wayzata 952-473-5577

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hundreds attend Muni tent party

The Wayzata Bar and Grill had a tent party on Saturday night as one of the first steps of many commemorating the move to the new location. Hundreds attended, the interior of the building was full, as was the tent. Every parking space at the Wayzata Bay Center was taken.

Muni faithful celebrate inside the tent party. Photo Dan Gustafson.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

State of the City of Wayzata text delivered by Mayor Ken Willcox

The following is a draft of Wayzata Mayor Ken Willcox's State of the City address delivered to the Wayzata Chamber membership at the Wayzata Country club on March 24, 2011. It is not intended to be a transcript of what was delivered, rather the essence of what was said.

Mayor Ken Willcox delivers the 2011 State of the City
address at the Wayzata Country Club. Photo Dan Gustafson.

Thank you Suzanne. And good afternoon. I really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you today. I would like to begin by saluting our city staff and city manager Al Orsen, who have shouldered much of the burden these past two turbulent years. I would also like to thank my fellow members of the Wayzata city council and ask them to stand and be recognized: Jack Amdal, Mary Bader, Andrew Mullin and Tom Tanner. They have all worked incredibly hard to guide Wayzata through the recession. I’d also like to recognize former Mayor Andrew Humphrey who helped set the stage for much of what is good that I will discuss today. And former council member Bob Ambrose who is with us. Thank you all.

Today, although we’re not totally out of the economic woods yet, I believe Wayzata will soon enter one of the more energizing periods in our history. If everything comes together, we will have new development, new recreation, and new infrastructure. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My remarks will be in four parts:

  1. The recent past
  2. Positive developments
  3. What our challenges are, and
  4. The bright future

So to lead off, let me remind you where we were just a year ago when I last updated you:

FIRST, The recession had forced us to slash our city budget by about 15%. We reduced staff in every department from public works to police, and we cut benefits.

SECOND, The consumer slump coupled with high rents forced some long time businesses to close or leave town. Some of that is continuing.

THIRD, The commercial sector, which represents about a third of our tax base, saw their values slipping. Because they pay taxes at a higher rate than residential, the property tax burden began shifting to our homeowners.

FOURTH, The Bay Center project was on hold

FIFTH, The city was sued by the local Unitarian Church.

SIXTH, Hennepin County continued their unwelcome Bushaway Road expansion plans.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, there was a train wreck. Oh, and then we found zebra mussels.

The other postscript was the news we got last week that last year’s census ranked Wayzata second in the state in population LOSS among cities our size. We don’t know for sure, but we think the 10% drop may be the result of first, an aging population with kids moving out, and second, people claiming residency in other states for tax purposes.

Anyway, how’s that for positive momentum??

But that was a year ago. Then some good things started happening:

Wayzata won the state high school football championship. And more importantly I won my bet with the mayor of Rosemount, Wayzata’s opponent. His penalty was to wear a Wayzata football jersey at his next council meeting and send photographic/televised proof to us. To his credit he did both.

Other positive things happened:

I. First, on the DEVELOPMENT good news fronts we finally broke a logjam of decisions:
We straightened Superior Avenue and put a traffic light at the corner. The goal was to calm traffic and create a more pedestrian-friendly crossing at Lake Street. Almost all of those costs were covered by the Bay Center development. Just so you know, we also planted over 1000 perennials in the medians last fall: daylilies, roses, lilacs and dogwoods. Look for them to begin blooming in the coming months.

As you heard from Gina, we made the decision to stay in the municipal liquor business. The new muni is now nearing completion on the east end of Mill Street. Not only is the muni a favorite gathering spot, it typically funnels about $250,000 per year into our general fund thereby lowering taxes. As an aside, some people have commented on the size of the new building. Actually much of that was driven by our decision to house the mechanicals in the roof and to build a garage so deliveries could be made inside. The intent was to screen the Widsten neighbors from noise and odors. Although several families there sued us anyway, those suits have since been dismissed.

Presbyterian Homes reaffirmed their intention to begin work on the new Bay Center probably this summer. They renamed the project The Promenade of Wayzata. By the way, as disappointed as we have been by the delay in that project, we could not have wanted to work with a more dedicated, principled developer than Presbyterian Homes. I credit John Berg and Ray Mithun for selecting them.

The city and chamber for the first time brought together the Wayzata commercial property owners. The goal was to come up with a plan to reinvigorate our commercial center. One of the products from that brainstorming was a branding exercise currently underway. The intent is to promote Wayzata broadly as a destination for residents, consumers and businesses. The umbrella slogan for that campaign is: EXPERIENCE WAYZATA: THE GATEWAY TO LAKE MINNETONKA.

II. Second, on the FINANCIAL good news front we stabilized our budgets:

a. To make our resources go further,

We entered into a contract with Long Lake to provide their police services. Those revenues allowed us to hire back one laid-off police officer and add another. You will note the addition of the title Long Lake to the graphics on our squad cars.

Also in a series of meetings this winter with the mayors and public works directors of neighboring Orono and Long Lake we identified a number of opportunities for sharing specialized equipment and for contracting jointly to reduce costs and maintain services. We will continue looking for cost saving collaboration opportunities.

b. In financial management

Our blue ribbon finance committee, now a standing committee, of JC Kiser, Jack Morrison, John Berg and Steve Bloomer gave the city a set of recommendations on capital projects, cash flow and funding sources. We will pay close attention to their counsel, particularly regarding debt.

Speaking of debt, Moody’s has given Wayzata bonds its top rating of AAA. That’s very unusual for a city our size. It reflects our history of conservative financial management and our strong tax base.

Similar to the situation in the private sector, our city staff has shared the pain as we asked them to do more with less. This was a necessary restructuring to balance the cost of government with the new reality of reduced revenue. Some services have suffered. However, we have also been able to begin rebuilding our depleted reserve account. It is now back to 32% of operating expenses, up from 25%. The level recommended by our financial consulting firm is 40%.

III. On the recreation good news front
The new Dakota trail is bringing thousands of bikers to town. We need to provide the goods and services that will prompt them to spend their money here. We have installed bike racks around town and erected new signage directing bikers to our commercial center. More to come

We have new light standards and hockey boards at Klapprich Park, thanks to a grant from Hennepin County related to the new Twins stadium.

The Parks and trails task force and other engaged citizens are tackling everything from facilities upkeep, to maple syrup tapping in the Big Woods, to hockey and skating lessons.

Finally our Wayzata volunteer effort under the leadership of Lynn McCarthy has made a huge contribution to our community.

Over 100 volunteers, clad in blue “Wayzata - We Dig It” t-shirts planted our gardens last spring and will again this year on May 14th. Some families and nurseries also actually adopt specific gardens. The adopters are totally responsible for the design, flower purchasing, planting and summer-long care of their plots.
Other volunteers assist the admin staff at public works answering phones and helping with mailings. Others have digitalized a large percentage of the city’s historical records back to the mid-1800s. Still others have expanded the senior programming at the Boardwalk senior living facility with genealogy classes, computer classes, side trips, and a speaker series.

A Star Tribune reporter a couple of weeks ago relayed to me a League of MN Cities comment that Wayzata was “way ahead of the curve among cities in tapping volunteer energy.” This year the very talented Sue Schroder was the first recipient of the Wayzata Volunteer of the Year award.



We had hoped the Bay Center would develop retail first to give an early shot in the arm to Wayzata’s retailers. However, both the retail and condo markets remain under pressure. So construction of those areas will be delayed until they see more improvement. Building activity will begin with the senior living components. In addition my understanding is that there are still some final lease buyout arrangements that need to be completed.


The Unitarian Church lawsuit against Wayzata is scheduled to go to trial in December this year. You will recall that they have accused the city of discriminating against churches. Of course, they have been welcome residents here for over 50 years. Their church is located across the street from the Wayzata Fire Department. We have tried some workaround solutions, but so far without result. Unfortunately the lawsuit involves legal expenses which land on our city taxpayers. At this point we understand that a similar burden is not shared by the church members. Their attorneys are handling the case on a pro-bono basis. If the church prevails, their legal expenses will also fall on us.


To protect the beauty of Bushaway Road, we continue to battle the county. We want them to reduce the footprint of their redesign of that historic entryway into Wayzata. We are pursuing a number of strategies involving our state legislators, county commissioner, the watershed district and even the railroad in that effort. The county plans have shrunk markedly since they were first proposed, but the impact of even their reduced designs would still be severe.


The Met Council still plans to install the rest of the high pressure sewer line through Wayzata. It will stretch from the Depot down Lake Street, down the length of Bushaway, across Gray’s Bay and on to Shakopee. The Met Council has committed to us that they will do the work only in the winter months at a time of our choosing when business is slower. The work could happen next winter.


Wayzata’s commercial activity is bi-polar. Business along Wayzata Boulevard east of Superior is doing very well. On the other hand, Lake Street, which is what people usually think of when discussing Wayzata, is struggling. Part of the problem, other than high rents and taxes, is that compared to other cities around the lake, we don’t have as much to offer in the way of attractions around our lake front. We can advertise for people to come to Wayzata, but if they don’t find much except a lake view, will they come back?


I can’t think of many other cities which have the opportunities we do:


Wayzata has benefited from several Tax Increment Districts over the years that helped fund some of our infrastructure. Several of those districts will soon expire, and we’ve got to spend the money left in them, or lose it. What it can be spent on is strictly defined by state law. For instance, it cannot be used in our general operations, manpower or buildings. Most also has to be used in close geographic proximity to the corresponding districts. Over the next three years the city will spend about $6 million from these districts on capital projects. They will involve sidewalks, roads, signage and lighting, among other things. This is a one-time opportunity to get ahead of our infrastructure costs, and we need to be sure we have our priorities right. This is in addition to our normal city maintenance, which averages about $1 million per year. It also does not include the substantial infrastructure spending being done in conjunction with the Bay Center. Most of those costs are borne by the developer.


When it is finally on stream, the new center will be the most spectacular development on this side of the metro area. Its unique retail components, residential additions, restaurants and events will be a stimulus for the whole city. It should help all businesses in Wayzata, and it will help restore some of the vigor that has moved to other cities around the lake. The addition of senior housing could also help us be freeing up single family homes that can be made available to younger families looking to expand.


By straightening Superior Avenue we have created an extremely valuable piece of real estate owned by the city on that corner. It’s now being used for parking. Ultimately it will be sold to a developer.

Our plan anticipates that a new building on that corner will drive more parking requirements and the need for a parking deck of some kind on Mill Street west of the new Muni. That added parking capacity will allow us to think more expansively about what we can do with our Lake Street business core and lakefront offering.


Along those lines, some of what needs to be done is to make what is the primary focus of Wayzata, namely our Minnetonka lake front, more of an attraction for people. As I have said before, we seem to be losing the lakefront battle to other towns around the lake which have more activities and access. We need to give people more reason to experience and enjoy our wonderful views and ambiance. Some of the additions under consideration include more docks, a boardwalk, more gathering areas, and unique amenities. We also need to replenish our shops and sidewalk cafes that cater to visitors.

The upgrades to our lakefront will require a private/public partnership. We will need a combination of substantial private investment along with grants and city support. It will take a community-wide commitment.
Again, the purpose of all of this is to ensure a healthy commercial tax base and an exciting environment. Strong commerce makes Wayzata a desirable place to live while it lowers property taxes and enhances the stability of our neighborhoods.


The new bar and grill with its d├ęcor, saturated in historical Wayzata, will continue its role as one of Wayzata’s favorite meeting places. Our extraordinary award-winning staff there has been working hard to ensure a smooth and fun transition. The wine selections in the wine and spirits store will be extensive. The product offering will be managed by Gina Holman, our very talented and high energy director of liquor operations. She is also an accredited graduate wine sommelier. Meanwhile those of you accustomed to the narrow confines of our current liquor store will be blown away by the new space. And finally I would just add that the new muni will be the gateway to our newly created Port of Wayzata (you’ll see what I mean when the building is finished).


The media in recent years has started to recognize what we have long known. Wayzata has a unique small town flavor that has instilled great civic pride and involvement in its citizenry. At the end of the day, it is the quality of life here mixing beauty, convenience and friendly, helpful people that makes this place special. Everything we have been doing is designed to reinforce that sense. It continues.


…that we have set the stage for some important developments in Wayzata. The recession has caused us to re-examine everything we do. We have made needed changes. Now it’s time to execute a turnaround. There’s a new normal out there. We need to adapt to it and take advantage of it.

The city will do its part. We are providing infrastructure, parking, and signage. We are maintaining the small town ambiance with walkability, the muni, and gardens. We have energized our citizens to pitch in to help across a spectrum of city functions. People are engaged in Wayzata. And we are helping them address the future.

In my view, our top priority at this stage is a revitalized Lake Street and lake front. For that we need you – the commercial property owners, the retailers, the restaurants and the citizens who patronize them and who care about our city. Now is the time for new ideas, new approaches. Retailers need to re-examine who today’s customer is, what will attract them and keep them coming back. The chamber needs to reassess what events work, what events don’t work, and what its members need to flourish. Bring us your ideas. We will try to help.

Just imagine a lake front with more docks for boat arrivals, more sidewalk cafes, a boardwalk with kiosks for people to stroll, shops all open at the same hours, bikers stopping for refreshments and to browse, people enjoying an expanded park area along the lake, sales associates eager to make customers feel welcome, and new and exciting chamber events.

That’s what will win the lake front battle and restore Wayzata as the premier gateway to Lake Minnetonka.

We live in a beautiful place with talented and dedicated people. We still face speed bumps as we struggle back from the recession, but I am optimistic that we have put most of the difficult adjustments behind us. With the unique assets at our disposal, we should give thanks every day that we live in such a wonderful community. We’re heading in the right direction, and with everyone pulling together, I believe the future is very bright, indeed.

Thank you.


Wayzata population declines 10% in Census, Mayor Willcox "Mystified"

The Strib has got a piece out on the suburbs lack of growth that is worth a read. Within the article, Mary Jane Smetanka singles out Wayzata for it's 10 percent decline from the 2000 census to the 2010 census:
"Most of those cities were still gaining population 10 years ago. Wayzata, for example, grew by 8 percent in the 2000 census but dropped by more than 10 percent in the 2010 count.

Mayor Ken Willcox said he was mystified by the decline, which amounted to 425 people in the city of 3,688 residents. He theorized it could be linked to a larger population of snowbirds who were in Arizona or Florida when the census forms came, or to the departure of young residents who have grown up and left.

That makes sense to State Demographer Tom Gillaspy. Wayzata and suburbs like it, he said, are getting old, part of a demographic wave that hit first-ring suburbs in 2000 and now is creeping further into suburbia."
Do you agree with Mayor Ken Willcox's assessment of a larger portion of snowbirds? Do you buy that young people are leaving the community? What do housing prices have to do with growth, given that Wayzata has been significantly higher priced than neighboring areas like Plymouth?

Let Wayzata know what you think by typing in the comment box below or email

Twin Cities suburb growth becomes thing of the past |


The Foursome Fine Apparel and Shoes Spring Tailored Clothing Event

The Foursome Fine Apparel and Shoes will showcase spring looks for men during their semi-annual premiere tailored clothing event, March 24th through April 3rd. Preview the season’s best selection of suits, sport coats, slacks, dress shirts, and neckwear from top names like Hart Schaffner Marx, Joseph Abboud, Enro, Zanella, J. Z. Richards, and more. Clothing sizes include big & tall, ranging from 38 short to 60 extra long.

Custom and made-to-measure clothing will also be highlighted with their best custom offer ever. Save $250 on any custom suit or coat/trouser purchase during this event. Get acquainted with the individualized fit and superior fabric choices available in custom clothing – for the price of an in-stock suit!

The Foursome Spring Tailored Clothing Event.
March 24 - April 3, 2011
If networking is your game, stop by the store on Wednesday, March 30th from 8 to 9 a.m. for a business coffee break. While you’re there, register for the $100 Foursome gift card to be given away that morning.

“Look to lighten up your wardrobe, both in fabric weight and color,” advises Gordy Engel, owner of The Foursome. “Update your basics with bright pops of color in your accessories and a new pair of spring shoes.” He also notes that plaid sport coats and bowties are making a comeback this spring.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sandy Langley Elected To Leadership Position with Statewide Clerk’s Association

Sandy Langley, longtime, former City Clerk of Deephaven, Greenwood, Woodland, and Wayzata has been elected President for the Municipal Clerks & Finance Officers Association of Minnesota (MCFOA) for 2011-2012. The election was held during the Association’s Annual Conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota, on March 17, 2011.

The MCFOA was established in 1937 to promote professional standards for City Clerks and Finance Officers. The Association provides educational opportunities through regional meetings and annual conferences and sponsors continuing education workshops for its certification program.

This honor and professional recognition comes after a 31 year long career in municipal government. Ms. Langley relocated to the comforts of Northern Minnesota after Wayzata terminated the position of City Clerk. She now contributes her talents to the City of Crosby, Minnesota. She has also been awarded the designation of MN Certified Municipal Clerk on the State and International levels.

The MCFOA has over 800 members from throughout the State of Minnesota, including city clerks, treasurers, clerk-treasurers, clerk-administrators, finance officers and deputy city clerks.


Wayzata Public Schools summer preschool program accepting registrants

Did you know Wayzata Schools’ Family Learning Center offers a summer preschool? Barefoot in the Grass is a great way to create just the right amount of routine for your family without over-scheduling, and a valuable experience for children transitioning into kindergarten this fall.

Give your kids a chance to explore nature, art, science, music, movement, games and stories--indoors and outdoors. Your child will learn through play, run through sprinklers and make new friends!

Classes are either four or eight weeks in length and run 9-11:30 a.m. for 2-year-olds and 8:45-11:45 a.m. for 3- to 5-year olds. Parents may choose a Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday class. To be eligible, children must be 2- to 5-years-old as of September 1, 2010, and have not yet started kindergarten. Session I is June 6-30 and Session II is July 11 to August 4.

Parents can also register children ages 18-months to 5 years for one morning (8:45-11:45 a.m.) or afternoon (noon-2:30 p.m.) per week of BLOCK Time, the center’s high quality child care option. BLOCK Time is prepaid for a full session of four weeks, the same dates as Barefoot in the Grass.

Limited financial assistance is available for qualifying families. Registration and additional information is online at (Select Birth to 5.) Registration forms are also available at the Family Learning Center at 305 Vicksburg Lane North, in Plymouth. For more information, call 763-745-5290.

Share/Save/Bookmark 2011 Offers and Discounts coupon book

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Wayzata Police Blotter

McGruff says, "Take
a bite out of crime!"
The Wayzata Police Blotter is brought to you by the Wayzata Crime Prevention Coalition, a non-profit group that raises awareness and money to assist the Wayzata Police Department in keeping Wayzata a safe Community. For more information, or to get involved, visit Take a bite out of crime!

Car Theft/Rpt
Reported: 03-18-2011  1601
Vehicle taken from parking lot by flat bed truck, unknown tow company. Signed and entered as stolen./ Vehicle Recovered
Addresses Involved
3XX Lakeview Ave , Long Lake

Phone Scam
Reported: 03-17-2011  2140
Reported phone call just received, believed to be a scam, as they told him he won a new car and a million dollars if he wired money. No info provided to them and wanted the police to be aware.
Addresses Involved
215 Barry Ave S , Wayzata

Vehicle Fire 1
72 Hour Hold/Emergency Admission 2
ANIMAL VIOLATION - Verbal Warning 1
911 HANG-UP 2
Cancel/No Contact 3
Sex Offender/POR Info/Checks 1

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

From rain, to sleet, to snow

Rain turned into sleet late Tuesday evening.
Photo Dan Gustafson.
You don't have to be a meteorologist to know that Tuesday night and Wednesday day have been challenging for people to get around in.  It started with rain that turned into sleet, then into heavy, sloppy, wet snow.  It's the kind that sticks to the pavement and freezes as people drive over it.

Stay tough out there Wayzata.  It's almost spring somewhere.


Author Rob Bell to Appear at Wayzata Community Church

Wayzata Community Church, one of the largest congregations of the United Church of Christ in the U.S., will host author Rob Bell for a talk and book signing for his recently released book- Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.

Bestselling author of VELVET ELVIS and the 2 million-plus selling Nooma videos, Rob Bell, faces squarely the question: Does it really make sense that God is a loving, kind, compassionate God who wants to know people in a personal way, but if they reject this relationship with Jesus, they will be sent to hell where God will eternally punish them forever?

In LOVE WINS, Bell goes to the heart of these issues and argues that the church’s traditional understanding of heaven and hell is actually not taught by the Bible. Bell is emphatically not offering a new view of heaven and hell. Instead, Rob looks closely at what the Bible says and discovers that Jesus’ most fundamental teaching about heaven and hell is, “Love Wins.”

Rev. Dr. Allen Hilton, Wayzata Community Church’s teaching minister says: “Rob Bell’s book crosses boundaries, and that’s rare in American Christianity. He sings out the expansive love of God, even when the wide reach of that love violates cardinal beliefs of the evangelicalism from which he comes.  His color choice is not limited to either an evangelical or a liberal palette.  That frees it to be wholly and polychromatically Christian.  I can’t wait to hear Rob talk about the book on April 11!”

About Wayzata Community Church

Wayzata Community Church (WCC), located in Wayzata, Minn., has been helping people with their faith journeys for 130 years. Today the church has nearly 3,000 confirmed members, and is among the top five largest congregations of the United Church of Christ in the U.S. Besides worship services, WCC offers Music at Wayzata concert performances, author visits, scouting organizations, support groups, Nursery School, the annual Rummage Sale and other community events.

If you go:

Rob Bell Speaking Engagement
Monday, April 11
7:00pm, Sanctuary
Doors open at 6:30pm
125 Wayzata Boulevard, Wayzata MN 55391

OBITUARY: Esther Moran

Moran, Esther Julia (Jahn) age 97 of Minnetonka formerly of Delano died March 20, 2011.

Preceded in death by her husband, James P. Moran and son, Donald.

Survived by sons, Thomas, Robert and Richard; 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Esther graduated with honors from the University of Minnesota School of Pharmacy. She and her husband established and operated Moran Drugs in Delano in 1948.

Mass of Christian Burial 11 AM Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at the Church of St. Bartholomew, 630 E. Wayzata Blvd., Wayzata with visitation one hour prior to Mass at church.

Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

David Lee Funeral Home
Wayzata 952-473-5577

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Maple Tree Tapping at the Wayzata Big Woods

A group of dedicated volunteers met on Saturday March 19th at the Wayzata Big Woods for the 2nd annual Maple Tree Tapping event. You can view over 500 photographs in the "Wayzata Big Woods Maple Tree Tapping" gallery.

Tapping a maple tree in the Wayzata Big Woods.
Photo by Dan Gustafson. View 500+ more here.
Additionally, here is a write-up on the History of the Wayzata area, why the Big Woods are important, and maple tree tapping info from Merrily Babcock. Babcock led the event for the second year in a row.


As pioneers moved west many large tracts of woods were replaced with farms and small settlements. Minnesota territory, soon to become part of this great western migration was, until the mid 1850s, inhabited by the Dakota (Sioux*) Mdewakanton. These American natives felt the wooded area around the “big water” was a spiritual place. Between 1650 and 1861, after spending June to August on the western prairie hunting buffalo, they would journey East to this location each fall to hunt deer, elk and bear, gather cranberries, wild plums, swamp potatoes, nuts and herbs for winter. The downed trees were used for firewood and the crowded saplings were thinned and used for tepee poles. Chief Shakopee* had a band of around 200 people who camped each winter on Carpenter’s Point, the area where Bushaway Rd. meets the causeway. Harvesting wild rice in the fall from the shallow shoreline and fishing from ice holes in their sacred waters known as mi-ni-tan-ka, providing more winter provisions.

In 1851, the Treaty of Traverse de Sioux was signed and the land west of the Mississippi was opened to people traveling in covered wagons seeking new opportunities. The Dakota were forced to move and a small group of white Eastern families followed the dirt road west from St. Anthony to Wayzata. Soon new homesteads were constructed which increased the number of dwellings beyond the few scattered shanties built by the early trailblazers who had settled here.

Life would present many challenges for those early emigrants. After the white establishment called Waziah was settled in 1853 the cold spring was just the start of desperate years ahead. The first difficulty was the short growing season, leaving few provisions for the new arrivals. That was followed by the next three summers where clouds of locusts invaded and ate everything in sight. Not only were the crops devoured and trees and bushes left leafless, but also the clothes hanging out to dry were consumed. With crop failure, everyone was scraping by on borrowed money and numerous businesses failed. The financial panic forced many people to pack their belongings and move back East as banks called in their loans. The winter of 1857-58 was bitterly cold (-40 F). Those that were able to survive this dark time were soon generating income gathering a wild tuber root called Ginseng, which only grew on the dense humus floor of the Big Woods. Two Eastern brothers solicited this commodity for China and gave the struggling farmers a windfall until the entire wild crop had been dug and carted away (1857-1861).

Life proved difficult for the Native Americans also. With hunger and anger at broken treaty promises, and white men off fighting the Civil War the Indian Uprising of 1862 frightened many of the remaining families back East, never to return. Had it not been for the crude ox-cart road hacked out by Oscar Garrison and 160 acres of free land for homesteaders the town would “have all but died of anemia”*. In 1900 there were just 300 people, many being seduced to the lake in 1867 by the single train trip per day. The population doubled in 1920 to 633 and then 1,101 ten years later. Much of that growth can be attributed to the natural beauty of Wayzata’s location, excursion boats servicing the many hotels, the boat building industry and the summer homes built by prominent Minneapolis businessmen.


THE WOODS: This public park is a remnant of a deciduous hardwood forest that once covered most of the Eastern United States. Description of this forest name was a term used by early French explorers, bois fort or bois grand, which in English translates to “big woods”. In 1850, the footprint of this forest covered 6,500 square miles of Minnesota and stretched from St. Cloud to Mankato and West from Northfield to the Minnesota River. Early townships were surveyed using “bearing” trees. The DNR estimates that only about .01% of the original forest exists today. This loss is due to farming and housing and not natural causes as this type of forest is self-protecting. With few small shrubs, thick tree bark on the tall trunks and a damp decaying carpet of leaves, there is little to keep a fire fueled.

Most trees in this woods are sugar maple 110 to 120 years old with basswood, ironwood and oak in smaller numbers throughout. One 200-year-old maple still stands on the Retreat’s lawn. Canopy gaps are densely stocked with young maples and the rich forest floor has a light cover of wildflowers that can be seen in May when the grazing deer population is light. The most dominant flower is the Jack-in-the-Pulpit with Anemone, Meadow Rue, Nodding Trillium and False Solomon’s Seal scattered over the knoll and Bloodroot, ferns, Violets, Mertensia and White Trout Lily on the northern portion. Garlic Mustard and a heavy cover of buckthorn are competing with the native flowers but we are attempting to eradicate these invasive non-native species.

THE BUILDING: In 1933 the architectural firm of Stebbin, Hazby and Bissel of Minneapolis, MN designed the Tudor styled home that Charles and Ruth Arnao built in 1934. The estate was named Greenridges and stayed in the family until 1956 when the Arnao’s sold 11+ acres and donated 10 more to the Sisters of the Cenacle Order. The sisters added the two wings for bedrooms off the main house and a chapel to the North. In the woods north of the Cenacle, lore has it that the sisters mapped out the Twelve Stations of the Cross.

In 2003 Wayzata residents, with generous donations of area citizens and The Retreat, purchased the estate with the assistance of the Trust for Public Land. A Conservation Easement protects the entire 22+ acres from ever being developed and is held in perpetuity by the MN Land Trust.

Whether viewing this old growth forest from the walking paths, the rushing highway or the busy Colonial Square parking lot to the west the changing seasons add to our quality of life. Filtering pollutants and exhaust, the cleansing capabilities of the tree roots insure clearer water for Lake Minnetonka and Gleason Lake, with the tree’s enormous leaf canopy keeping our air cleaner…all highly valued assets for our community.


Maple tree tapping is an early spring activity in the northern United States and Canada and the indigenous natives have used the cooked sap as sweetener for generations. In the early 1850s they shared this art with the new settlers. The “sugarbush” season usually began in March-maples trees tapped the majority of time because of their high sugar content then birch, oak and boxelder were selected, the boiled sap giving winter food a savory flavor for these early people. The Dakota used birch bark containers to gather the sap and added hot stones to the liquid to reduce the sap to a syrupy blend.

A specific climate is required for tree tapping. The season usually lasts from 4 to 6 weeks and begins when the temperatures are below freezing at night and above freezing during the day. The fluctuation of temperature creates the pressure for the sap to rise. Mature 40-50 year old Maples are the most frequently tapped, the diameter no less than 12 inches. Taps are placed on the trunk’s south side, 3-4 feet above a large root. Each tap (spile) can produce 10-20 gallons per tree, depending on the weather conditions. Sap should be collected every 2 or 3 days but the amount gathered depends on Mother Nature. All sap stored should be kept cool prior to cooking/reduction. When the sap turns cloudy or the buds form on the branches, the season is over. Ten gallons of sap will make one quart of syrup and should always be cooked outside, as the steam is so thick that it will remove wallpaper.

For more information:


  • “Tap My Trees”
  • Cornell Sugar Maple Research
  • Making Maple Syrup: Univ. of Cincinnati
  • Homemade Maple Syrup, Minnesota Maple Series
• “Backyard Sugarin’” by Rink Mann

• “Once Upon a Lake” by Thelma Jones
(can be found at the Bookcase in Wayzata)

Pg. 116 “Once Upon a Lake” by Thelma Jones
*Dakota, meaning ally, in the Dakota language
*Sioux meaning little snakes


Friday, March 18, 2011

OBITUARY: Evelyn Larson-Brodie

Larson-Brodie, Evelyn Mae age 84 of Cold Spring formerly Minnetonka died March 17, 2011.

Preceded in death by her first husband, Donald C. Larson and second husband, George W. Brodie.

Survived by her sons, Douglas, Scott and Craig; 8 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren as well as other loving relatives and friends.

Funeral service 11 AM Monday, March 21, 2011 at David Lee Funeral Home, 1220 E. Wayzata Blvd., Wayzata. Visitation 5-8 PM Sunday at the funeral home and one hour prior to the service.

Interment Glen Haven Memorial Gardens.

Memorials may be directed to the Diabetes Association or the Parkinson’s Association.

David Lee Funeral Home
Wayzata 952-473-5577

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Presbyterian Homes and Original Pancake House enter mediation on Wayzata Bay Center lease

Since the purchase of the Bay Center property and approval of the Bay Center Redevelopment plan, Presbyterian Homes has been working with all Bay Center tenants to help them relocate their businesses or to buy out their leases. Lease resolution for all but one of the tenants was completed in 2008 and 2009, with the Original Pancake House being the only remaining unresolved lease.

Presbyterian Homes’ goal has been to assist in relocating all tenants who wished to remain in the area. Efforts resulted in the relocation of the Foursome to Plymouth. Other tenants, including the Municipal Bar and Grill, Lindblom Jewelers, Bob’s Shoe Repair, Healthy Foods and Healthy Ways, Picture This Framed and Barber Bob Nash, have been relocated in the immediate Wayzata area where they can continue to serve the Wayzata community. Summit Dance, a 25-year tenant at the Bay Center, will consolidate all classes at their Plymouth studio after completing this year’s dance season in May at the Bay Center studio. Other tenants such as Kraemer’s True Value Hardware and Glaciers have chosen to simply take lease buyout funds and cease operation or concentrate their business plan in other locations.

When asked to comment on the lease negotiations and relocation, John Mehrkens, Vice President Development of Presbyterian Homes & Services, stated, “Our goal from the beginning of the Bay Center Redevelopment project has been to assist all tenants in relocating their businesses or being part of the new Bay Center redevelopment if it fit their business goals. We are very happy to have reached resolution with tenants and are pleased that so many were able to successfully relocate in the Wayzata community. We also realize how popular the Original Pancake House is and what a fixture it is in downtown Wayzata. For that reason, we have offered resolution opportunities including relocation to another site in Wayzata or a lease buyout payment. While our ongoing negotiations have not resulted in a mutually acceptable agreement, Presbyterian Homes and the Original Pancake House have agreed to non-binding mediation in the hope that it will lead to a resolution that is acceptable to both parties.” The mediation is scheduled to take place at the end of March.

At the present time, with the relocation of many original tenants, the center has several new, temporary tenants and periodic public events to maintain a viable commercial environment. April 16th will be the Bay Center’s final indoor farmers market, where a wide variety of exhibitors will feature garden products and ideas. This event will be in conjunction with the American Cancer Society’s big annual fundraising sale that runs from April 13-16 in the former Foursome Men’s Store. On May 1, the Bay Center will host the start of the Wells Fargo Lake Minnetonka Half-Marathon.

For more information on the Wayzata Bay Center Redevelopment, go to or contact John Mehrkens at (651) 631-6313.

Maple Sugaring in Big Woods to take place on Saturday March 19, 2011

Spring is in the air, and it’s a good time to get out of the house for a visit to the Wayzata Big Woods. Join us there for the second maple sugaring event some time on:

Saturday, March 19 2011 at 2 pm.

We need volunteers of all ages to help tap the maple trees. You’ll learn the historic art of maple sugaring, and you’ll have some good, family fun.

The exact date of this event is still uncertain, since the season for maple sugaring can start in mid-February and run through March or April, depending on the weather. We will schedule our event on a weekend some time in mid-March. Temperatures need to be below freezing at night and above freezing during the daytime. When temperatures are between 28 and 40 degrees, the fluctuation creates the ideal situation for the sap to flow.

Participation in this event is limited, so if you are interested in joining the maple sugaring event, please contact me at or 952-473-2999, and I will notify you of the date once it is determined.

All materials needed for tapping trees will be provided, thanks to the generosity of our sponsor, The Retreat, a recovery center located in the heart of the Big Woods.

Here are some of the interesting things participants will learn at this event:

  • It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.
  • Trees to be tapped must be at least 12 inches in diameter.
  • Sugar maple, black maple, red and silver maple are the best trees to tap, because they have the highest sugar content, but birch, walnut or box elder may also be tapped.
  • Native Americans taught Minnesota pioneers the skill of making maple syrup, which provided sweetener when sugar was scarce.
  • We will use cans to collect sap, but the Native Americans used birch bark containers fixed with pitch to stop leaking.
  • Native Americans knew it was time to move to the “sugar bush” camp (the hardwood maple forests) when they saw the crows return.Maple sugaring stops when the sap runs cloudy, the trees start budding, or legend says when the frogs start croaking after a thunder and lightening storm.

When we have completed collecting sap we will schedule a date to watch how the liquid is processed into syrup at a farm in Medina, and all participants will be able to bring home their own Maple syrup. Again, the participation is limited.


Barbers Inn moving down Lake Street April 1

Bob Nash cuts Tracy Ingram's hair at Barbers Inn.
Photo Dan Gustafson.
Barbers Inn has been a Wayzata institution for men's hair care for 40 years.  If you ever visit the store, you will recognize Bob Nash, Dave Duffner, and the shop dog Bagley by their friendly faces.  You will also get a hearty laugh from the good natured ribbing that is directed at anyone and anything in town.

Now the only real barber shop in town is leaving it's long standing place at the Wayzata Bay Center and headed to the other end of Lake Street--into the old Hunt Queens location. "The new location will be open on April 1st, although that's April fools day, so you will have to decide whether or not we are being serious about that."

Nash attended barber school at the Lee School of Barbering in St. Paul in 1967.  "I also cut hair when I was in the Navy in 1968 and 1969."

With a motto of "Free haircuts tomorrow" and other salty remarks that were not appropriate for this publication, this Wayzata institution seems likely to continue in the tradition it has been known for many years to come.

If you go:

Days: Tuesday - Saturday
Hours: Open at 6am, appointments preferred.
Phone: 952-475-2326
New Address as of April 1, 2011:  269 Lake Street East.

View Larger Map

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

OBITUARY: Virginia Lindsay Jenness

Jenness, Virginia Lindsay Born: October 17, 1913, Minneapolis, MN. Died: March 13, 2011.

Virginia Lindsay Jenness led a full, active, and worthwhile life in community service since her graduation from Wells College in 1935. She served numerous organizations as a volunteer both in the capacity of leader as well as active participant and contributor.

For the past fifty-seven years and following the legacy of her great aunt Martha Lindsay and her father, James B. Lindsay, she has served the Jones-Harrison Residence in Minneapolis in numerous capacities. She has been on the board of directors of Jones-Harrison for most of this time, including serving as president of the Board for several terms, treasurer for two terms. She also served the following committees both as chairperson and as participant during these fifty-seven years: Finance, Fund Raising, Media Relations and Marketing, Building, and Long Range Planning.

In 1988, she chaired the Centennial Committee. She continued as a mentor on the Board of Directors for both Jones-Harrison Residence and Jones-Harrison Foundation. During her tenure as the Jones-Harrison Home Fund Raising Co-Chair, she lead the successful effort to raise $4 million which guaranteed the survival of the residence, in spite of the community belief that the Jones-Harrison future was in jeopardy as a result of extensive re-building required to bring the facilities up to the mandated state safety codes.

Mrs. Jenness gave incalculable hours outside her full family activities to maintaining the quality of life in her community. She recognized the need for care for the elderly, in her work with Jones-Harrison, long before it was a national concern, and realized that this care must always provide an environment for the elderly that was safe, caring and cost-effective while, above all, maintaining dignity and respect for the senior citizen.

During these same fifty-seven years she has also served as treasurer of the Village of Woodland (twenty years), on the Women's Christian Association Board, on Lafayette Club Board (two three-year terms), on the Junior League (throughout the WWII years in Minneapolis, Des Moines and then again Minneapolis and as a sustaining member of the finance committee), Red Cross, Girl Scouts (troop leader after college for six years and for another three years during her daughter's involvement), Big Sisters, and in organizations directly relating to her children's development: Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and PTA. In the Wells College Club of Minnesota, she served in the capacities of fund raising activity chairperson, area admissions coordinator, treasurer and president.

When time from her community involvement allowed, Mrs. Jenness was an avid golfer and tennis player as well as an avid traveler throughout her life.

Preceded in death by husband, Blair Jenness, and son, Blair L. Jenness.

She is survived by her daughter, Charlotte J. Foster (Bill Foster); her daughter-in-law, Mary Sue Jenness; her grandchildren, Lindsay Jenness Baydin (Alex Baydin), Blair Matthew Jenness (Melissa Jenness), Andrew McGowan (Patti McGowan), and Christopher McGowan (Audrey McGowan); four great-grandchildren, and her brother, Hugh T. Lindsay.

Memorial service for Virginia will be held on Friday, March 18, 4:00 PM at the Jones-Harrison Residence Chapel, 3700 Cedar Lake Ave., Mpls.

Private interment Lakewood Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Jones-Harrison Residence, 3700 Cedar Lake Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55416-4299.

David Lee Funeral Home
Wayzata 952-473-5577

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Shining a light on public data

by Guest Columnist Ivan Raconteur.

I am not usually a fan of special designations for days or weeks, but Sunshine Week (March 13-19) is one I will gladly support.

Sunshine Week is a national initiative spearheaded by the American Society of News Editors to promote a dialog about the importance of open government, freedom of information, and the public’s right to know.

This is a right we sometimes take for granted.

Americans know there are places in the world, far away countries under the control of some dictator or totalitarian regime, where there is no such thing as public information or where public information is manufactured by the government, but that can’t happen here.

We know there are places where there is no expectation of open meetings or transparency in government, but that can’t happen here.

That is what we want to believe. The trouble is, it simply isn’t true.

Even with the laws we have in place in this country, public information and openness in government are not automatic. They are preserved only by the daily vigilance of journalists and other citizens.

To some, that statement may seem overly dramatic. As one who has spent thousands of hours covering government meetings, law enforcement agencies, and other public institutions, I can assure you it is not.

This does not mean that government officials are involved in some elaborate plan to deprive us of public data.

It means that without constant oversight, the precious public data we have come to expect will be eroded in a thousand small ways.

Part of this is due to human nature.

One can see why elected officials would find it easier to make difficult decisions behind closed doors, but that doesn’t mean we should let them do so.

The spirit of Sunshine Week and the open meeting law are based on the idea that the best and fairest decisions are those made in the light of day under public scrutiny.

That is why it is so important for us to insist that public data remains public.

In some cases, failure to provide public information may simply reflect a lack of understanding.

Elected officials, city or county staff members, or law enforcement representatives may not know what is and isn’t public information, and may err on the side of caution when deciding if they should release information.

It doesn’t matter why information is withheld, or why decisions are made in private. The result is the same – citizens lose.

There have recently been attempts to eliminate the requirement for public entities to publish public notices in newspapers.

Often, proponents use cost as a justification for this.

Newspapers have been publishing these items for a long time, and can do it more efficiently and economically than public bodies can.

There is also something unsettling about leaving these matters in the hands of the entities involved, rather than an independent third party.

Any time Uncle Sam or his minions say, “Trust me,” I get nervous.

There is something about having to rely on the government to do the right thing that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

When something is published in a newspaper, it becomes part of the permanent record. It is what it is, and it cannot be changed.

When something is published only on a website, particularly a government website, that is not the case.

I have looked at enough websites maintained by public entities to cast serious doubt on their ability to do so in a timely, accurate manner.

I have checked city websites looking for the agendas for council meetings to find out what is going to be discussed, only to find that they are not posted until after the meeting, even though they are provided to council members days in advance.

I have tried to look up minutes for a meeting to check information, only to find that the city or county in question is weeks or months behind in posting the minutes online.

I see no reason to expect things would be any different if the public bodies were the only place this information was published.

Finally, I am cynical enough to believe that there is nothing to keep information from changing if the government is left in control of it.

What assurance do we have that information won’t be altered or simply disappear if the content becomes inconvenient for the governmental agency that controls it?

I wouldn’t care to risk it.

One might also suggest that having well-compensated public employees spending time maintaining websites that few people ever visit isn’t a good business decision for taxpayers.

I commend those elected officials and public employees who understand and support the need for openness and public information, and I hope that those who don’t will soon get on board.

I will continue to attend public meetings and report what I see, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I will do this because I believe shining a light on public bodies helps them to do the right thing, and because the public has a right to know.

I encourage all citizens to do the same when they have a chance.

Attending a meeting once in awhile or talking to elected officials lets them know that people care, and, perhaps more importantly, that people are watching.

Having access to public information is our right. Making sure that public information stays public is our responsibility.

Ivan is the Editor of the Winsted Waverly Howard Lake Herald Journal.  Originally published in the Herald Journal.

Highway 12 at Night

In case you haven't figured out, I got a new camera recently and have been trying all kinds of new techniques to add zip and zap to your favorite blog here at

Here is a picture of Highway 12 in Wayzata from the Broadway Avenue bridge. Hope you enjoy.

Highway 12 in Wayzata. Photo Dan Gustafson.
All rights reserved.

Monday, March 14, 2011


Nutt, Paul R. age 90, of Wayzata.

Survived by sister, Pauline Thomas and brother, Virgil Nutt; and many other loving family and friends.

Longtime career with General Mills, retired as financial manager of Latin American Operations.

Served in the US Navy in WWII.

Funeral service 11 AM Friday March 18 at David Lee Funeral Home, 1220 East Wayzata Blvd, Wayzata. Visitation 1 hour prior.

Private interment at Ft. Snelling Cemetery.

David Lee Funeral Home
952-473-5577 Wayzata

Wayzata Section Foreman's House Photos

Wayzata Section Foreman's House. Photo Dan Gustafson.
See more photos at
Here is a photo of the Wayzata Section Foreman's House I took over the weekend.  I removed the color and added some noise to have it look older than it actually is in this one.  Even though there are signs that are adamant about "no trespassing", I did walk along the driveway and shoreline to snap some photos.  You can see ever more photos of the Foreman's House by clicking this link.

The building is in pretty tough shape, and looks like it could use more than just a coat of paint.  I believe the Wayzata Heritage Preservation Board is working on securing a grant to restore the property. Additionally, long term plans from the City Council seem to express a desire to have a boardwalk from this property to the depot.

Anyways, enjoy!


Friday, March 11, 2011

House overlooking Grays Bay burns to ground; neighbors report explosion prior

Home overlooking Grays Bay on Lake Minnetonka
burns to the ground. Photo Dan Gustafson.
Visit for more pictures.
A home overlooking Grays Bay on Lake Minnetonka burned to the ground early Friday afternoon. Eyewitnesses indicated an explosion occurred in the basement, and the fire followed.

Visit for photographs.