Past and present mayors sculpt future

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Former Pine City Mayor Dick Clemenson, who now resides in Detroit Lakes, Minn., made an impromptu stop by City Hall last Friday to visit with Mayor Robbins.  Clemenson was mayor of Pine City in the late 70s, when he appointed Robbins to the City Council — where she served until she became mayor in 1992.

The two shared stories of times past and Mayor Robbins updated Clemenson on the activities taking place in the community today.  As seen in the photo above, she showed him the recent “Outstanding Community” award.  Each of Pine City’s mayors have helped lay the groundwork on the community’s outstanding initiatives.   Pine City has grown by over one-third since Clemenson was mayor.

Term                               Mayor                                                         Population Size (by year)
1976-1978 G. Richard Clemenson                    pop. 2,143 (1970)
1978-1982 Keith R. Selleck                                 pop. 2,489 (1980)
1982-1988 Robert E. Andersen                         pop. 2,613 (1990)
1989-1992 Bill Sauter                                            pop. 3,043 (2000)
1992-present Jane Robbins                              est. pop. 3,432 (2009)
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Hundreds turn out for Earth Day

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Nathan Johnson, city planner, and Richard Drotning, building inspector (left), were available at the Environmental Fair to answer questions on how the City of Pine City is taking green initiatives (for example, through smart development, recycling, composting and stormwater treatment, such as rainwater gardens).

Jennifer Peterson, manager of Pine City Farmers’ Market in the Park (right), was also on-hand to answer questions about the importance of buying fresh and local.

farmers-mkt.jpgDozens of other booths were represented, including East Central Energy and Sprouts Hometown Market health food store.  Hundreds of people attended the event Apr. 22, including elementary school-aged children, Pine Tech students and community members.

The event was the first of its kind in Pine City and is expected to take place annually.

Pine Center for the Arts turns one, plans May 7 gala

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One year ago, members of the Pine City community came together for an informational meeting at Pine Technical College to discuss a simple but important question: Is there regional support for a center that could make Pine City a destination for artists and art lovers?

The answer was a resounding “yes,” but organizers knew that starting a major non-profit, booking events and classes, and finding a home for it all wouldn’t be easy.  But in the year since that first meeting, Pine City has witnessed the growth of an important and influential grassroots organization now known as the Pine Center for the Arts.

While many members went right to work developing a mission, business plan, and articles of incorporation, others went right to the task of building a website and booking top-notch performers, as was seen by the phenomenal success of the sold-out concert by Boston-based, a cappella group ‘Ball in the House’ last November.

The group was instrumental in lobbying the City of Pine City to purchase the old courthouse in downtown Pine City.  Members of the group want to see the building put back into public use, with the eventual goal of housing Pine Center for the Arts activities in the historic downtown building.

Pine Center for the Arts has gathered a Who’s Who of Pine City leaders to help guide the project.  The Board of Directors consists of business leaders such as Bob Thompson, owner of MINPACK, and Patrick Schifferdecker, the director of the Northwest Company Fur Post.  The board also has the expertise of Mary Jo Mettler, former administrator at Pine Technical College and local artist and educator Laurel Martin.

According to PCA leaders, the next step is a simple but important one: get more people directly involved in the formation of the Pine Center for the Arts.  To help achieve this goal, the Board of Directors has announced a gala event on May 7 at the Pizza Pub in Pine City.

There will be wine and beer tasting, pizza and appetizers catered by Pizza Pub and Java Joe’s, a silent auction, and live music from 5-7:00 P.M.  Members of the planning committee and Board of Directors will be on hand to answer your questions and help area residents to learn more about how a community-supported arts center would not only bring a wide variety of cultural events to the area but also help to revitalize downtown Pine City and the entire region.

Anyone who is unable to attend the event on May 7 can learn more about the organization and how to donate by visiting www.pinecenter.org.

‘09 Initiative Awards Celebration

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A large Pine City contingent showed up (over 100 in all) at the St. Cloud Civic Center Friday, Apr. 17 to witness the community receive the ’09 Outstanding Community award.

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Mayor Jane Robbins, ’08 C.C. Ludwig award recipient, thanked everyone who made the latest award and recognition possible.

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City leaders, Councilor Paul Janssen, Mayor Jane Robbins, Planning Commissioner Oscar Thorson, City Administrator Don Howard and his wife Marcia Howard, and Councilor Brian Scholin, attended the ‘red carpet’, ‘celestial’ affair.

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This lighted glass sculpture was presented to the City, along with a $1,000 donation to the Pine City Library Foundation, for receiving the award.

Grants for Fire Departments!

Grants for Fire Departments!
Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program
POSTED: 4/16/2009
FUNDING SOURCE: FEMA
ELIGIBILITY: Fire departments and nonaffiliated EMS organizations
$ AVAILABLE: $565,000,000
GRANTS AVAILABLE: 5,000
MAX GRANT SIZE: $2,750,000
DEADLINE: 5/20/09
CONTACT INFORMATION: http://www.firegrantsupport.com/docs/2009AFGguidance.pdf
DESCRIPTION: A new funding round is available for grants to enhance fire departments’ and nonaffiliated EMS organizations’ firefighting and emergency response needs by funding additional tools and resources necessary to more effectively protect the health and safety of the public.

Will fur post close?

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Nearly half the staff at the Minnesota Historical Society might be laid off or see their hours whacked this summer, including those at Pine City’s historical gem, the Northwest Company Fur Post.

According to the Star Tribune, State funding cuts projected to reach $2.8 million in each of the next two years, combined with a projected $2 million annual drop-off in charitable giving, admissions revenue and book sales, are creating enough economic distress that the local fur post site could potentially close at the end of June.

Final cuts will be announced once the state budget is set next month.  But, with about a month to go in the legislative session, local site manager Patrick Schifferdecker is urging locals to write, call or E-mail their legislators to urge them to save the site, which brings thousands of tourists to the Pine City area each year.

The fur post, one of 26 historic sites in the State, is one of three which could close, along with Forestville (Preston) and the Charles Lindbergh House (Little Falls) on July 1.

To view your legislators’ contact info, click on their names below:

  • State RepresentativeTim Faust (DFL) District 8B

Fishing opener is just around the corner… Do you have room in your boat for one more?

Kettle Kinship is currently seeking male mentors for three boys in the Pine City area.

One is a 14-yr old who likes to fish and ride his bike.
One is a 12-yr old who likes video games and wants to fish and build a clubhouse.
One is an 8-yr old who loves to read, make crafts, and play outside.

Kettle Kinship screens and trains volunteers who commit to the minimum of one year making weekly contact with their mentees for an average of an hour per week. Mentors are matched one-on-one with mentees on the basis of location, interests, and preferences. Mentors are adult friends who give the gift of their time. It’s not about being a parent figure or spending a lot of money, but it is ALL about spending some fun time with a young person who wants to hang around with you! You include a kid in what you normally do already–gardening, running to the hardware store, cooking, cleaning out the garage, going fishing, visiting the library, sharing your hobbies.

More information and applications can be found at www.kettlekinship.org or you may contact Shawn Jansen via email or phone (cell 320-245-5339, home 320-838-3847).