Sept. 15, 2021

Wayzata Football Shuts Out Champlin Park

The Wayzata football team posted its second straight shutout to start the season, blanking Champlin Park 23-0. Trojans’ quarterback Ryan Harvey threw three touchdown passes, two to Drew Berkland, to lead the offense. Running back Julian Alfaro-Diedrich rushed for 144 yards as the Trojans effectively mixed the run and pass. Darius Givance caught seven passes for Champlin Park (0-2). Fourth-ranked Wayzata (2-0) hosts third-ranked St. Michael-Albertville Friday.

Sept. 11, 2021

Late Rep. Ramstad remembered with Post Office dedication

Late Congressman Jim Ramstad has a legacy as a dedicated public servant and now he is forever memorialized with a Post Office dedicated in his name.

Ramstad passed away in Nov. 2020 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease.

On Sept. 2, a dedication ceremony was held at the U.S. Post Office in Wayzata, renaming it in his honor. The event was attended by many residents, friends, family and former colleagues of Ramstad, including Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Rep. Dean Philips. His former staff was also in attendance.

For nearly 30 years, the North Dakota native and longtime Wayzata resident served first as a member of the Minnesota State Sentate, and later as a representative of Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. Congress.

His wife Kathryn described him as a moderate Republican who strived to work with colleagues on both sides of the political aisle. Having Klobuchar and Phillips — both Democrats — pay tribute to Ramstad was indicative of his dedication to bipartisanship. Kathryn noted it was Rep. Phillips, the current representative of Ramstad’s former District, who penned the bill to dedicate the Post Office. It was later signed by President Joe Biden. Bills were signed by all representatives in Minnesota and Ramstad’s native state North Dakota. 

“He was all about bipartisanship,” Kathryn said. “It was very important to him to reach across the aisle to work on legislation with Democrats as well as Republicans. It’s not something we see as much anymore.”

During the ceremony, the keyword Kathryn spoke of was gratitude. The gratitude she felt seeing legislators in two states work to honor her husband. And the gratitude Jim felt being able to serve Minnesota for 9 years and represent the state in Congress for 18 years. He retired in 2009.

“It really was a special day. It was a great turnout,” Kathryn said.

While Ramstad was born in Jamestown, N.D., he called Wayzata home since 1981. Kathryn called Wayzata Jim’s favorite place on earth.

“Wayzata, to Jim, meant many special things. Lunches at the ‘Muni’ with his dad, Marv; Breakfast at the Sunsets with the guys,” she said. “And of course, the highlight of the campaign season, walking with the Ramstad team in the James J. Hill Days Parade and then treating everyone to pizza at Maggies.”

Klobuchar, who Kathryn said Jim greatly respected, said the Post Office will stand as a reminder of what is possible when Democrats and Republicans can work together. Phillips echoed this sentiment.

“This is how we will pay it forward — coming together in the spirit of decency and friendship and possibility,” he said.

Kathryn said the Post Office bearing Jim’s name is another great way to remember him and carry on his legacy.

“As we remember Jim and keep his memory alive in our hearts, let’s live out the lessons he taught us,” she said. “We can all learn from each other and work together to find the right answers. And above all, be grateful for all that we have been blessed with in this life.”

Sept. 8, 2021

Letter to the Editor: Thank you on behalf of the family of Officer Bill Mathews

To the editor:

On Sept. 8, 2017, the lives of our family and of this community were changed forever when Wayzata Police Officer Bill Mathews, my brother in law, was killed in the line of duty. In the hours, days and weeks after his death, the anguish of life without him left an immeasurable void in our lives.

In that dark time we found something that was truly special, something that gave us hope and quelled our fears. That something was you, what an amazing community.


Image courtesy Wayzata Police Twitter.

We may have not been ready for the outpouring of love and compassion but we are very grateful to have received it. From individuals to businesses, your selflessness has touched us in both tangible and intangible ways. This community has wrapped its arms around our entire family, the family in blue, and Shawn and Wyatt. We are in awe of and grateful for the continued support.

One year ago, ribbons were tied everywhere, porch lights turned blue and signs were hung that read: “We will never forget.” You have truly not forgotten. Thank you for honoring Bill’s life so preciously and for honoring his impact on this community.

It is impossible for us to thank everyone individually. Please know we are deeply grateful and profoundly affected by your generosity and compassion. It was you that gave us hope in the face of despair, who showed us caring and compassion when we needed it, and who allowed us to continue to celebrate Bill’s life and legacy.

To our friends, family, City of Wayzata and Long Lake officials, the Wayzata Police Department, residents of Wayzata and Long Lake and the surrounding cities who have all have been instrumental in helping our family on this journey, we are extremely grateful.

Craig Budolfson, on behalf of the family of Officer Bill Mathews: Shawn and Wyatt Mathews, the Budolfson family, the Fabel family and the Pinter family

Sept. 7, 2021

Women win Battle of the Sexes Folkestone Bocce Tournament

By special contributor Neil Collins

Almost 50 years after Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in their classic tennis match, the women of Folkestone (South Building) continued that tradition by beating their male counterparts in bocce matches held Wednesday afternoon at the Park Street courts.

In 3 spirited and exciting games, the women bested the men 2-1, including a thrilling last minute win in game three. The twenty players were cheered on by a non-playing contingent from Folkestone. After the match all enjoyed a picnic dinner with hots and hamburgs cooked by Scott Hutton and Barb Donley and salads and desserts provided by the many attending.

Players on the winning women’s team included Jan Nelson, Barb Donley, Nell Ray, Glady Utoft, Pat Ritzinger, Jan Taylor, Judy Heiser, Mariyln Zastrow, Carole Sattervall, Jary Nichols and Beth Erickson. Male players were Vern Weiss, Harmon Ray, George Ritzinger, Rod Sanders, Jim Taylor, Don Ellenberger, Bob Engelstad and Val Olson. A Spring 2022 rematch is being considered.

Folkestone is a Presbyterian Homes & Services senior living community located in Wayzata, MN offering independent living, assisted living, memory care, and long term care apartment homes.

Posted in Folkestone
Sept. 4, 2021

Wayzata Football Blanks Roseville in Season Opener

The Wayzata football team routed Roseville 42-0 Thursday in the season opener for both teams. Ryan Harvey threw for four touchdown passes and running backs Julian Diedrich and Dante Cockrell, Jr. combined for 130 yards rushing. The Wayzata defense recorded five sacks. The Trojans play at Champlin Park next Friday.

Aug. 29, 2021

Council denies Moments of Wayzata amendments

All members of the Wayzata City Council and Mayor Johanna Mouton agreed the community is in need of care options for Alzheimer's and dementia patients.

They also agreed the Planned Unit Development amendment and design deviations requested by TMSC of Wayzata are not appropriate for the Highlands neighborhood.

The building on 163 Wayzata Boulevard W. is owned by Burt Elmer of TMSC of Wayzata. It was formerly Meridian Manor, a senior care facility which opened in 1994. It closed in April due to COVID-19 concerns.

The new business, Moments of Wayzata, would be a senior living community for 88 residents with an adult daycare facility for up to 20 people per day. 

The applicant requested a PUD amendment and design standard deviations. The amendment was to build an addition on the west side of the existing building and add parking space. The new addition would house an adult daycare center and new office space. The design deviations were to request permission to add parking in front of the building and to not have a massing break on the front facade which would be part of the overall remodel. The applicant intends to do a complete remodel of the interior of the existing building as well.

The new addition and expanded parking would require a number of trees to be displaced. In total, 37 significant trees would be removed. The developer said they intend to relocate a number of these trees, many of which would be along Wayzata Boulevard.

Elizabeth Wright, founder and president of Moments of Wayzata, said adults needing memory care are an underserved population. Providing an adult daycare would offer a helpful service for people who care for loved ones with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

“We are now making it a standard to have adult daycare in our communities whenever possible,” she said.

The adult daycare addition would be a 13,000 square-foot building, which is the cause for a majority of the public’s concern. Elmer noted the height of the building was one of the concerns and the developers took that into consideration, though some public commenters disagreed.

“The applicant has failed to work in good faith with the neighbors. To stay on the narrative they worked with the neighbors and addressed their concerns is simply not true,” said David Kirkland, a Wayzata resident. “This proposal is emblematic of the environmentally destructive development creep that has taken hold in our city and must be stopped.”

Having the building’s trash enclosure in front of the building and the displacement of trees also raised criticism.

“I’m highly skeptical you can take a 20-year-old tree and pick it up and not have it die,” said Daniel Drotning, Wayzata resident. “There’s going to be an awful lot of trees that aren’t going to make it.

Drotning noted he and his wife Eileen purchased their home across from the property in question when it was still a farm.

“Since 1994 we had the Meridian Manor structure across from us. That functioned really well with a few minor tweaks,” he said. “Now we have a group that wants to change to almost 90,000 square-feet. I don’t think any of you want a structure that big built across from your homes.”

The Planning Commission recommended approving the requests from the applicant, but the council voted unanimously to deny. 

“The thing that really hits me is the two design deviations being asked for. Those are two brand new things we put into our design standards for a reason,” said council member Alex Plechash. “To right out of the gate grant deviation to two standards we just put in place does not seem correct to me.”

The original PUD also designates the area for light traffic. Council member Jeff Buchanan said he worries the adult daycare will greatly increase traffic.

Despite denying the requests of the applicant, the council said they would still like to see the Moments of Wayzata’s services added to the community, as well as the needed remodeling of the property. Plechash clarified the vote was not a rejection of Moments of Wayzata.

“There’s so much good about your plan. I want to see you come back with a different plan that takes into account the concerns we have,” he said.

Aug. 24, 2021

School Board passes COVID measures to start year

The School Board for Wayzata Public Schools will implement health and safety measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the upcoming school year.

The board passed a resolution to enact multiple measures, including mandatory mask wearing, by a 6-1 vote. Chris McCullough was the lone member to vote ‘Nay.’

The board held a work session to discuss the efforts that will be in place before Monday’s meeting. Superintendent Dr. Chace Anderson and Associate Superintendent Nathan Flansberg presented the mitigation protocols being recommended. The measures have some variation between buildings.

  • K-8 Grade: All people in school must wear masks 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • 9-12 Grade: All people in school must wear masks 7:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. except indoor physical education, classes with physical activity and designated after-school activities.
  • Transition program: All people in Wayzata Transition School are required to wear masks in the building.

Outside of designated times, masking is still being recommended. Wayzata Transition School may move from a ‘mask required’ rule to ‘mask recommended’ if viral spread lessens locally.

Federal law requires students to wear masks on school buses at all times. Wayzata is not requiring mask wearing for any students during outdoor activities, including P.E. and sports practice.

“We’re very excited to be welcoming students back in about two weeks,” Anderson said. “We all recall last year being a very challenging year. We’re looking forward to moving into a new chapter.”

Among the challenges of last year was the shift between learning models mid-year. The start of the school year was delayed before opening with a hybrid model of in-person and distance learning. As virus activity increased, the district switched to distance learning only before coming back to in-person learning in the spring.

Anderson said the main goals of the mitigation plan is to keep students in-person throughout the year while keeping students and staff safe. Meanwhile the district will continue closely monitoring virus activity locally and nationally. 

Blasberg described this year’s learning model - in the case of an outbreak - as ‘blended learning.’

“We need to realize the universal distance choice in the state is no longer an option,” he said. “There are blended learning options where students learn primarily in the building.”

The district can apply to the Minnesota Department of Education to implement a blended learning model but application or approval does not mean it has to put blended learning into practice. Blasberg said the hope is to not need any alternatives to in-person learning.

“As a district we really could use localized data to determine if these models need to be entered into,” he said.

Board member Sarah Johansen asked if there were mental health resources available for students as they continue to deal with the pandemic.

“All of our buildings do have a mental health professional working within the building,” said Jody Remsing, Director of Special Services.

The start of the meeting opened with public comment, which highlighted a mixture of support and opposition of the resolution. Three students of Wayzata schools spoke during this time; all in support of mandating masks in school.

“In my opinion, the mental health of students is based more on safety and the regular high school experience as opposed to a mask,” said Vennela Dupati, Junior Class President.

“As passionate as many adults or parents in our community are, one way or another, the bottom line is these decisions affect me as a student,” said Jack Ryan, Wayzata senior and Student Body President. “I’m one who’s going to be wearing a mask. I promise you, even if you’ve heard about it; even if you’ve seen it; unless you’re also a student you don’t understand what we went through.“

Aug. 24, 2021

GreenStep Cities program fails at council

The Wayzata City Council did not pass a resolution to join the GreenStep Cities program during its Aug. 10 meeting.

The council voted 3-2 against joining the program.

GreenStep Cities launched in 2010 as a free program for cities which helps provide information and guidance to increase the adoption of sustainable energy initiatives. There are more than 140 communities in Minnesota already participating in the program. It is also promoted by the League of Minnesota Cities.

Wayzata's Energy and Environment Committee recommended joining the program to increase its efforts in using sustainable energy sources. Council members Jeff Buchanan and Molly MacDonald spoke in favor of joining the program, citing the lack of risk in joining and the desire of pursuing sustainability.

Council members Alex Plechash and Cathy Iverson, as well as Mayor Johanna Mouton noted the merits of the program but stood opposed to joining. Mouton cited a lack of clarity on what the city would be asked to do, while Iverson had concern about the workload it would place on city staff.

"The city doesn't need to be a part of this program to take these common sense measures," Plechash said. "One of my main concerns is that many steps in the GreenStep Cities program may ultimately generate onerous regulation on businesses and homeowners."

Aug. 20, 2021

James J Hill Days Schedule 2021

All Aboard! Lake Minnetonka’s Largest 3-day Festival Is Back and Moving Full Steam Ahead

The whistle’s blowing and the 46th James J. Hill Days is just around the bend, coming September 10, 11 & 12 to the shores of Lake Minnetonka in Wayzata. The proud residents, businesses and community of this small town will roll out the welcome mat for 75,000 guests over three jam-packed days of exciting events.

From Engine to Caboose, There’s Something For Everyone!

FRIDAY’S LOCOMOTIVE

Two years and a pandemic later, WAYZATA BEACH BASH is back! Catch ZZ Top with special guest Kenny Wayne Shepherd at Friday’s ticketed concert, live on the shores of Lake Minnetonka.

For the BEER LOVERS, get your tickets to RAILS & ALES CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL. This year’s line-up is stacked! Enjoy unlimited samples from 20+ breweries, live bluegrass music by The Wailing Loons, and some casual games to wind down from the week (5-9 PM). Tickets available online.

Step Right Up! The Lake Minnetonka CARNIVAL (5-10 pm) will be in full force with ride after ride offering fun for all ages. Purchase pre-sale discounted tickets at Lunds & Byerlys Wayzata. Also available at the gate.

Be sure to check out the full line-up of activities added to the weekend including the outdoor NIGHT MARKET. Shop local vendors (5-9 PM), relax and listen to LIVE MUSIC by The 70’s Magic Sunshine Band (5:30-9:30 pm) and enjoy food trucks along Lake Street under the twinkling lights. A perfect end to summer.

SATURDAY’S BOXCAR

September 11, 2021 marks the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 and a very special event, MN 20TH ANNIVERSARY 9.11 MEMORIAL will take place Saturday morning (10 am). A permanent memorial monument will be unveiled in the new Panoway on Wayzata Bay Plaza Park to honor the tragic events of 9/11/2001. The space will offer community members a place to remember and reflect. This memorial will honor one of Minnesota’s native sons Gordy Aamoth Jr. and the lives of all victims of the Sept. 11th attacks.

Find that special something as you SHOP 150 VENDORS (10 am–7 pm) at the open air street market. Sip and stroll from 15 food trucks, beer + wine tents, or grab a fresh lemonade as the CARNIVAL continues all day Saturday (10 am–10 pm).

Grab a hot dog and watch wiener dogs race, jump hurdles and dress up in costume at the ever-popular DACHSHUND RACES (12 pm). BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog) and get ready for your close-up as you pose for pictures with your pup in the DOGGY KISSING BOOTH. New puppy or want to brush up your dog’s training? Drop-in to an ONSITE OBEDIENCE CLASS. Enjoy pupperific treats and register to win pup-tastic prizes from our sponsors (10am – 3 pm).

WAYZATA BEACH BASH returns Saturday evening starring Country singer, Brantley Gilbert with special guest Morgan Evans. Tickets are still available.

Take a break from all the activities and enjoy incredible FREE LIVE MUSIC, dancing and fireworks! The Morrie’s Stage will feature local band favorites including – High & Mighty, Pandora’s Other Box, and Powertap (12 pm-10 pm). Plan ahead and get a good spot for the WAYZATA BAY FIREWORKS (8:45 pm) bursting over Wayzata Bay in celebration of all the fun. And don’t miss the brand-new PATRIOTIC PARACHUTE JUMP and landing by Veterans from the Navy SEAL team and Air Force.

SUNDAY’S CABOOSE

Several of the weekend’s activities stretch into Sunday, including logrolling, open air street market, carnival, food trucks, beer + wine tents and JJHD Dog Park activities.

If you haven’t noticed, it’s all about the dogs in Wayzata. So, you and your pup are challenged to join the DOGGY OLYMPICS! BYOD (Bring your own dog) and participate in a series of engaging games that will show off your pup’s skills and earn the winners pup-tastic prizes (11 am – 2 pm). Is your doggo the adventurous type? Try PADDLEBOARDING WITH YOUR DOG (11 am – 1 pm).

Other activities special to Sunday, include the T-6 THUNDER AIRSHOW a fascinating display of WWII planes swiftly flying over Lake Street and Wayzata Bay (2:50 pm). The same afternoon features the hometown PARADE (3 pm). Special thanks to all the sponsors who keep this event on the tracks.

MAJOR SPONSORS: Morrie’s Auto Group, BNSF Railway, Lunds & Byerlys Wayzata, Sandvold Financial Group, Luminate Home Loans, Youngstedts, River Valley Power & Sport, 6Smith, and 360 Financial

SUPPORTING SPONSORS: Guaranteed Rate – Chris Carr Team, Wells Fargo, Maison Realty Group, Hotel Landing | Laka Spa | ninetwentyfive, Northwest Eye Clinic, Old National Bank, The Good Clinic, Ventana Apartments, New Spaces Design-Build-Remodel, Pella Windows & Doors, The Brost Clinic, Mediacom, RE/MAX Results, Renewal by Andersen, Bohland Development, Coldwell Banker Realty, The UPS Store of Wayzata, Stonebay Senior Living, Adventure in Barking, The Canopy Group, THN Enterprises Inc. Minnetonka Portable Dredging Tom & Heidi Niccum.

Visit JamesJHillDays.com for details, tickets, and more information.

All activities located on/near Lake Street, Downtown Wayzata.

Posted in James J Hill Days
Aug. 20, 2021

8th Annual Drive 4 Excellence to be hosted by Wayzata Education Fund

The Wayzata Education Fund will be hosting it's 8th Annual Drive 4 Excellence at the Medina Country Club on September 20th, 2021.

Michele Redman

 

The Drive 4 Excellence is WEF's largest fundraiser throughout the year and presents an opportunity to spend a fun filled day with friends on a beautiful golf course.

Lunch will begin at 11:00 am and golf will begin at 12:30 with a shotgun start.

Special guest Michele Redman will join the event by taking part in a Beat the Pro Challenge. Redman is an LPGA player, former head coach of the University of Minnesota's Women's Golf Team, and a WEF Board Member.

Board member Rhonda Holland commented, "Thanks to generous businesses, golfers, and Wayzata families, the D4E has raised over $250,000 to fund grants for innovative teacher-inspired projects throughout Wayzata Schools. Join us as a corporate or family sponsor or golfer today!"

The Wayzata Educatoin Fund is administered through the Minnesota Community Foundation and qualifies as a public charity under federal and state laws. It is an entity separate from Wayzata Public Schools with its own board of directors and by-laws.

To learn more about the Fund, register your foursome, buy individual tickets, or inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please visit WayzataEdFund.org.