Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening.
You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'.
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Going into his tenth State of the City address, Rosemount mayor Bill Droste said the annual speeches have gotten easier. But he still doesn't look forward to it. "It's not as nerve wracking as the first time," joked Droste. For this year's event Droste will reflect on all that happened in 2011 and then share the city's plans for 2012.
Dust, noise and quality of life were the issues brought up at a public hearing regarding changes to the city's mining ordinance. The planning commission held the first round of a two-part public hearing Tuesday on allowing large scale mining on the University of Minnesota's UMore property. The University of Minnesota has partnered with Dakota Aggregates to mine sand and gravel on 1,250-acres on the western edge of its UMore Park property in Rosemount and Empire Township.
The Rosemount Family Resource Center has a heavily used food shelf. The center serves 600 individuals a month, and volunteer coordinator Shira Rabinowicz said half of those people are children. "Our shelves are empty," said Rabinowicz. The Rosemount Rotary Club wants to make sure those people get the food they depend on. As part of its Fight Hunger campaign, the club will place boxes in as many Rosemount businesses as possible to collect food donations during the month of March.
Hanging on the wall of Louis Damiani's apartment is a frame crafted by his friend Ken Talbert. In the frame is a handsome picture of Damiani when he was a Navy Pilot. Below that picture is a row of medals he earned while serving during World War II. And below the medals are pictures Damiani took during his time in the South Pacific aboard the battleship USS Tennessee. While simple, the frame displays an important part of Damiani's life.
A packed house turned out to defend city parks at the Rosemount Planning Commission meeting Tuesday night. The commission held a public hearing regarding several text amendments regarding public and institutional uses. One of the recommended changes was to change the zoning of the city's parks from public/institutional to residential. The proposed change did not sit well with many residents. More than 100 people turned out for the meeting. Residents spilled out of council chambers into the lobby of city hall.
For the last four or five years the Lighthouse Christian Church Kids Club has sponsored two Ugandan orphans. To collect money to sponsor Ivan and Susan, the Kids Club annually holds a penny war. Kids Club is Lighthouse's children ministry. It serves children from 6 weeks through fifth grade. The kids bring in their pennies, nickels and dimes in an effort to raise $700 for the one-year sponsorship of the two children.
The Rosemount Planning Commission is in the process of amending the city's mining ordinance to make way for mining on the University of Minnesota's UMore property. To get resident feedback, the commission will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at city hall. The hearing will be the first opportunity to provide public comment on the proposed gravel mining on the UMore Park property. Staff has recommended that the Planning Commission continue the public hearing to the March 27 planning commission meeting to evaluate the comments received.
The Rosemount Area Arts Council has worked hard over the last several years to advance the arts in the area. To help fund those efforts the volunteer group has received a number of grants through the Minnesota Clean Water Legacy Act. Part of the act allocates money to the arts and thus far the money has gone to communities in all 87 counties in the state.
Over the last year and a half Jodi Norgaarden has watched as suicide has devastated lives around her. Family, friends and acquaintances all have been affected by its aftermath. "I felt super helpless in seeing this," said Norgaarden. A mother of two, Norgaarden knew there had to be a way to positively impact youth going through pain and helplessness. So, she started talking with friends and devised a plan. What fell into place is Safe Expressions, an art class designed to help young women deal with negative feelings. The first class will be aimed at young women in grades 9 through 12.
Activity is moving right along for a planned Rosemount park and ride lot. This week a designer delivered the preliminary drawings for the building and the city demolished an old house that stood on the property. The park and ride will be constructed on the corner of 145th Street and Burnely Avenue. Community development director Kim Lindquist said while funding to build the project this year hasn't been approved yet, the engineering and design consultant for the project, Stanec, has worked in anticipation that it will be.