Wayzata Blockbuster Armed Robber Remains at Large

The Sun Sailor is reporting that the armed robber who hit the Blockbuster in Wayzata on March 30th is still at large. The original police report indicated that the suspect was a black male with light skin, 25-30 years old, 6 feet tall, and wearing a grey hooded sweatshirt, a knit hat and blue jeans.

The article also indicates that the last armed robbery in Wayzata was in 2002 at the Wayzata Amoco.

Wayzata is a safe as they come in the metro area in terms of crime. According to City Data, since 2001 there have been no registered sex offenders living in Wayzata, no murders, 2 rapes, 4 robberies, and 9 assaults. Cars are stolen with some frequency, but that is to be expected as a lot of the cars belonging to Wayzatians are high end luxury imports. There is recently a story about a Wayzata High School student who has been prostituting herself, and was involved as an accomplice to an attempted murder.

What is interesting about armed robbery is that it takes as much or more effort to rob a Blockbuster for $350.00 as it does to flip burgers for the clown for a week. It must be desperation, and thank goodness no one was hurt in this instance.

Stay tuned to Wayzata.com for all the developments.

Emailer seeks picnic area for 47 on Lake Minnetonka

Hi Dan,

Is there a park in the area, preferably on the water, which would be suitable for 47 tourists on a bus to stop for a picnic lunch in July? We will be coming from Noerenberg Gardens, heading east.


JD Balanger

Thanks for the email JD. You could try to have a picnic at the corner of Ferndale Road South and Grove Lane East. This is part of the Wayzata Beach property which is public property located at 220 Grove Lane East. My recollection of the site is that there are not enough picnic tables to accommodate 47 guests, but it is worth a shot. You can call the City of Wayzata at 952-404-5300 to verify how many tables are there, as well as check on a parking permit. Other options in Wayzata include Klapprich Park, an 8 acre park located at 340 Park Street East. Again my recollection is that there are not enough picnic tables.

You could try the GroTonka park in Minnetonka which is close to the lake and located at 17003 Prospect Place. It has a picnic shelter with seating for 32. Reservations are available, and parking is provided. You can call the City of Minnetonka at 952-939-8390 for more information.

Additionally, the City of Excelsior has the Commons area has exactly what you are looking for, as they take reservations, the picnic facilities are right on Lake Minnetonka, and they can accommodate a group of your size. You can call them at 952-474-5233. Even though your group is under the threshold for required reservations, I recommend you get some anyway to ensure your group is able to enjoy the specific day you need. This is probably your best bet in the whole Lake Minnetonka area.

If you have any other questions, please contact me personally at your convenience.

Rob Scott, Former Wayzata Resident and Actor Stars in Tony Nominated Play in Seattle

SeattlePI.com is reporting the Rob Scott, age 51 and a former Wayzata Student who once played King Aurthur’s page in Camelot in 9th grade will be performing will be performing in a play titled “Enchanted April” as it opens tonight at the Whidbey Island Center for the Arts in Langley, WA.

Scott will be playing the flamboyant Frederick Arnot, a British Writer and part of an eight member ensemble cast. Break a leg Scott!

Wayzata Resident Joe Adams Helps Boston College Compete in the Frozen Four

Hockey player Joe Adams, a resident of Wayzata and Boston College Hockey senior forward has “toiled tirelessly” in his efforts to help the Eagles reach the Frozen Four. The Frozen Four is College Hockey’s championship finals, similar to the Final Four put on by the NCAA Basketball Committee. According to a CBS Sports article published today, Joe has played in four games this season and has played a crucial role in helping BC win an impressive 104 games since they began playing together in 2004. Boston College will meet Notre Dame on Saturday night in Denver for the final game of the season. Watch for Joe to contribute if given the chance. We wish him luck!

Ramstad Retirement Leaves Opening for Democrats in District 3

The AP is reporting Terri Bonoff and Ashwin Madia will square off as Democrats meet in Wayzata on Saturday to endorse a candidate. With Jim Ramstad retiring, the democrats have a legitimate shot at beating the republican candidate in the slightly conservative Third District. Stay tuned for more info.

Wayzata City Council To Consider Acquitsition of 800 Superior Boulevard

The Wayzata City Council will meet in a closed session at 5:00 on April 21st at the City Hall to discuss a strategy to acquire the gas station owned by Dean Vlahos at the corner of Lake Street and Superior Boulevard. It is and would be the final piece of the Wayzata Bay Development Center and corresponding realignment of the intersection which apparently has more than it’s fair share of accidents and is not particularly pedestrian friendly.

The property was acquired in a shrewd move by Vlahos, owner of Redstone and former owner of Champp’s. The fact that the City is considering acquisition of the property, whether by outright purchase or by eminent domain could be read as a strong indicator that the Bay Center plans have a good chance of going through. Stay tuned to Wayzata.com for more information.

Have more info or a comment? Let us know.

Wayzata Community Calendar

Would you like to share your event schedule with the Wayzata Community? The Wayzata Calendar has moved to www.wayzatacalendar.com

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Craigslist Escort Service Shooting Woman Identified as Wayzata High Student

It has been an interesting couple of weeks with regard to crime in and involving Wayzata. First there was an armed robbery at gunpoint at the Blockbuster in Wayzata. Now Starsha Laquisha Swift of Plymouth, and a Wayzata High School Student has been accused of aiding and abetting an attempted murder. It apparently was part of a plan to make quick money by offering erotic services on http://www.craigslist.org/ and robbing potential johns.

Let me be clear in my position that I condemn prostitution. Prostitution spreads STD’s, creates unwanted pregnancy, can often result in abuse during, and is a blight on our community. Additionally, there is a clear and dynamic link of substance abuse within the world of prostitution.

Will Wayzata High School expel and or discipline her outside of the legal process? My position is that WHS should. She is an adult, reportedly 18 and in my opinion should not be allowed to interact further with students who are young and impressionable. We are talking about attempted murder and hooking in Swift’s case. There are rules for those enrolled in sports and activities that they have to adhere to a morals clause–no underage drinking, no tobacco, etc. It should absolutely be no different for crime a felony committed by a student, activities or not.

The other real tragedy of this is that http://www.craigslist.org/ is a powerful tool for interacting with people. What makes it so powerful is the ability to interact with locals without a fee to exchange goods and services on a community bulletin board. Every news story featuring craigslist seems to get intensified as television anchors try to scare us into watching television, don’t interact with your neighbors, don’t trust anyone. That is not the kind of world that I want to live in, and it is audacious for national and local news organizations, anchors, and reporters to sensationalize these news stories for better ratings. I challenge you to continue to use craigslist if you use it, and try it if you haven’t. Use common sense, of course, but these kinds of things are going to happen anyway with our without a particular bulletin board on the internet.

Do you have a different take? Post in the comments section in this article or email me at wayazata at gmail.com.

Wayzata Approves New Water Treatment Plant

The Wayzata City Council has approved a new water treatment plant to replace the 47 year old existing treatment system. Plans include a 500,000 gallon underground storage tank and new filter. The system is estimated to cost $4.4 million and will raise water utility rates by 9%. Part of the revenue to the tune of $1 million will be derived from Tax Increment Financing from completed development projects. Check http://www.wayzata.org/ for more information.

Capanile Added Back to Wayzata Bay Center Development Plans

In a move that could shatter all building height restriction in Wayzata, The Wayzata Bay Development Company reintroduced an observation tower of 155 feet that if approved would shatter all building height regulations that have been in place for some time within the City of Wayzata. What is amazing is that the Lakeshore Weekly News reported this yesterday, and at the same time there was a letter to the editor condemning the new tower height, as though the tower had been common knowledge. When did the tower get reintroduced?

In a Star Trib article dated April 2, it highlighted the major aspects of the plan. Within that article there was absolutely no mention of a tower, and so it seems to be shocking that at first the community, Humphrey, and his jolly band of decision makers were discussing approval of a project over 4 stories and up to 5 stories. This revelation makes me concerned not so much with the height of the buildings from my own personal perspective, but rather how the community will respond to structure that is 5 times taller than the 30 foot height restrictions that have been on the books.

We must also consider the fact that the tower is a red herring, in so far as now Presbyterian Homes is asking for 155 feet, the council could reject, but approve what is considered now a substantially lower height at 4 stories. Perhaps it is all a slight of hand. Stay tuned, Wayzata.com will keep you up to date with all the happenings and developments.

Stuck Between A Rock and a Tall Place

The Wayzata City Council has extended a moratorium on new construction over 30 feet. At the same time, the Wayzata Bay Center calls for plans of 4 stories. It seems difficult to gage the City Council’s intentions at this time because it seems the Wayzata Bay Center Development is gaining momentum in all aspects except with regard to building height. The truth of the matter is that Wayzata needs the Bay Center Development to go through to survive as a retail community–and the civic leaders know it. The decline in the retail sector has been well documented through many sources, and this would be a tremendous shot in the arm for retailers both located at the Bay Center and those who are not. It will bring more people from Plymouth, Minnetonka, Orono, Mound, etc. for the products and services added through the development. The city leaders want to approve, the people want it from what I read in print and online.

The problem with all this is that Wayzata is supposed to be a quaint lakeside village. Quaint means small and slow moving, and while these objectives could probably be reached with the development being approved, it sends mixed messages to property owners, developers and builders around town. How can the council say to it’s residents and businesses that 30 feet tall and or 3 stories is the tallest you can build everywhere in Wayzata–except at the Bay Center. YOU CAN”T, or at least it is going to be very tough to make all sides see why this is OK and can happen.

There are a number of projects all over town where the shovels and dirt are flying, and you can be sure that they would have liked to have built four or five stories if they could have. It goes back to Orwell’s Animal Farm: All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal. The more equal animal here is the Bay Center site. I wouldn’t want to be Andrew Humphrey and his band of jolly decision makers, because they can’t win this fight. Approve it and you piss off other developers and business people in the community who can’t build that high, and leave the City open to litigation to build to 4 stories. Shoot it down and you kill the heart of Wayzata and leave the possibility for development at the site seriously damaged, having turned away three suitors in as many years.

Steamboat Minnehaha Prepares for 2008 Summer Season on Lake Minnetonka

The historical Minnehaha Steamboat Crew is preparing for the 2008 summer season on the lake–if spring ever does arrive in Minnesota. According to Adam Steinmetz, the Minnehaha has a new schedule this year: the first part of the trip leaves Excelsior in the morning, and heads to the Wayzata Depot. Passengers from Excelsior then have some time to have lunch, shop and stroll and a 2nd group of passengers departs from Wayzata for the Wayzata Bay 1 hour tour. Upon return, the 2nd group of passengers gets off the boat and Excelsior passengers board her and head back to Excelsior. Then later in the day there is a Big Island tour as well as a separate Gideon’s & Lafayette Bay tour.

For the full schedule, please visit the link below:


James Laurinaitis is one of the Best Football Players to Come Out of Wayzata

In case you don’t watch football, James Laurinaitis is a name you should know if you are a Wayzatian. Laurinaitis is a recent graduate of Wayzata High School, and the best linebacker in the nation at the college level. He is currently preparing for his Senior year at Ohio State and has won accolades such as: the Butkus Award in 2007, the Nagurski Award in 2006. He is considered one of the top NFL Draft prospects, but has decided to return to Ohio State for one more year.

James is the son of Joe Laurinaitis, the professional wrestler known as “Animal”, part of a the tag team “The Road Warriors.” Watch for James and Ohio State to get another shot at the National Championship this year, and then get drafted by an NFL team. Should be interesting what kind of success he and his teammates can achieve.

When is the large curbside recycle day for Wayzata residents?

Hi Dan,

When is the large curbside recycle day for residents?

Thank You


Hi Bob,

Thanks for the email. According to Rebecca Jones from Public Works (952-404-5360) at the city of Wayzata, Spring Cleanup 2008 is May 3rd. Residents are able to dispose of appliances, TV’s, Printers, Copiers, etc. for a modest fee. If you have yard waste you need to dispose of because you didn’t do a fall cleanup, it can be brought to the City Compost pile at the end of Wayzata Boulevard, past the Country Club, right before Highway 12 goes into Long Lake.

Please click here for the pamphlet Rebecca emailed to me, as it contains most of the details. If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact me personally at your convenience.