Patrick Larkin

Mon
03
Feb

East Side residents raise concerns about proposed homeless shelter


A map of downtown St. Paul shows the proposed site for a new Dorothy Day Center on the eastern edge of downtown, along with the current location on the western edge of downtown. (submitted graphic)

Depending on whom you ask, the potential site for Catholic Charities’ new homeless shelter is on the edge of the East Side, the edge of downtown St. Paul, or both.
Seeking to better service St. Paul’s homeless population, the organization is looking to add 50 beds for emergency shelter, transitional housing space, and 135 permanent supportive housing units.
The group has identified a state-owned plot near the intersection of University Avenue and Lafayette Road as a possible site. The spot is currently in use by the state as storage for items removed from the Capitol building during its renovation.

Mon
03
Feb

4-3 vote means Prom will manage Phalen Golf Course


The Phalen Golf Course will be under private management this spring. Prom Catering of Oakdale has been approved by St. Paul City Council to manage the course, as well as the Como Golf Course. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

With a vote barely squeezing by, Prom Catering of Oakdale will be taking over management of the East Side’s publicly owned Phalen Golf Course, as well as Como Golf Course.
The St. Paul City Council voted 4-3 to approve a contract between St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department and the private company.
The vote signals the end of a months-long process to figure out what to do with the four city-owned courses which were losing money at a rate of about $400,000 a year.

Mon
03
Feb

County attorney: no charge for Archdiocese in Wehmeyer case

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is off the hook with Ramsey County, for the time being, in investigations related to the timeliness of its leaders reporting the clergy sexual abuse committed by former East Side priest Curtis Wehmeyer, 47, as well as the Rev. Jonathan Shelley.
Wehmeyer was a pastor at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, located at the intersection of White Bear and Lacrosse avenues, starting in 2009 up until he was arrested in June 2012.

Tue
28
Jan

Moviehouse keeps $2 films, adds new outreach for church


The plaza’s lobby was repainted, given new walls and ceiling tiles, and a collage featuring stills from a wide swath of famous movies was put up. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Charley Swanson, left, and Mike Dougherty, pose in front of the Plaza Theater, or what used to be called Plaza Maplewood. The two are part of the theater’s new management team, and are employed by Woodland Hills Church. (submitted photo)

Woodland Hill renovated much of the Plaza, including the entrance, and made a new logo. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Employees of the Lift work concessions of the Plaza Theater. The theater is staffed by workers from the Lift through a program designed to give people job training. Many of the Lift’s staff are East Siders. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

Volunteers from Woodland Hills Church worked to install new seats at the theater. (submitted photo)

With new ownership and plans for a new digital projector, the Plaza Maplewood is back up and running, under the hands of a church.
Following investment and fundraising from the new management, Woodland Hills Church, the place has new carpet, new walls, new ceiling tiles, new seats, and new staff.
The arcade machines are gone and things look fresh, new, and almost pristine.

Mon
27
Jan

Chue Vue brings a fresh look to St. Paul School Board


Chue Vue stands in the lobby of Mai Village in December. Vue is a new addition to the St. Paul School Board, and is the only Asian-American currently on the board. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

A photo of Chue Vue during his campaign demonstrates the wide support among Hmong leaders in St. Paul. (submitted photo)

East Sider Chue Vue is a busy guy, and with his new role as a member of the St. Paul School Board, it’s not letting up anytime soon.
But he’s not put off in the least by what’s ahead; rather, he’s determined to get his feet wet.
“It’s a steep learning curve,” he said, “I’m still making my rounds.”

Tue
21
Jan

Community of Peace class wins award for songwriting

Out of roughly 10,000 pieces of art made by students statewide, a song called “Living on the East Side,” written by a class of high-schoolers at Community of Peace Academy, rose to the top.

Mon
20
Jan

Arson suspected in Mounds Park Lounge fire

Someone, it seems, has it in for the Mounds Park Lounge, the old-time bar built in 1947 in the Dayton's Bluff neighborhood.
The building sits at 1067 Old Hudson Road, facing south to Interstate 94 near the intersection of Earl Street and Old Hudson Road.
The lounge's surveillance footage from the early hours of Saturday, Jan. 11, shows a masked man calmly breaking a front window and throwing in a flaming object.

Mon
20
Jan

Hill-Murray senior has jazz hands


John Blanda is shown at the baby grand piano in Hill-Murray High School’s choir room. (Patrick Larkin/Review)

John Blanda was enthusiastic to practice piano even at the young age of 6. By the age of 7, he had his first paying gig in downtown Minneapolis at Trocadero’s (submitted photo)

John Blanda performed at numerous fundraisers for his elementary and middle school, Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He would play piano for donations to the school. (submitted photo)

John Blanda, in a sense, has the world at his fingertips.
Blanda, a 17-year-old kid from Maplewood, is quiet, laid back and comes off a bit spacey, but still sharp.
And sharp quickly comes to the fore when he sits at the piano.

Mon
20
Jan

Payne-Maryland project, now named, on track to open this spring


The Arlington Hills Community Center, also known as the Payne-Maryland project, should be ready to open in late spring, and will hold a new library, recreation center and more. (submitted photo)

The city-owned 40,000 square foot structure will house the Arlington Hills Library, a St. Paul Parks and Recreation facility, a digital media center geared towards teens, and community meeting rooms.
Brian Tourtelotte from St. Paul Parks and Recreation, who’s the project manager for the construction of the building, said crews are working on a variety of finishing work -- they’ve laid tile and painted most of the walls, and they’re installing the wood flooring in the gymnasium and putting in ceilings -- in short, things are more or less on schedule.

Wed
15
Jan

Phalen Golf Course may have found new management


The city-owned Phalen Golf Course is shown in late fall of 2013. The course, along with Como Golf Course, will likely be under private management this coming spring. (Linda Baumeister/Review)

Come spring, Prom Management Group may be running the East Side’s majestic Phalen Golf Course, along with the Como Golf Course.
Phalen Golf Course, an 18-hole recreational course located in Phalen Regional Park, has been an East Side destination since it was built in 1917.
The decision to find a private partner came in November 2013, after the St. Paul Parks and Rec Department reported that collectively, the city’s four golf courses had lost $5 million since 2008.

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