Horizons Workshop Discusses a Vision for Pine City

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At the recent Regional Workshop held on September 25th at the NW Fur Post, community members and Horizon’s members discussed what things about our community they would like to Preserve, Change (existing conditions to work on) or Create (conditions that do not yet exist). The following are the results of this visioning exercise.

PRESERVE
Park & Rec Opportunities/Green Space/Nature
History/Fur Post/Cultural Celebrations
Education
Service Clubs & Organizations
Arts, Theater & Music
Downtown
Local News Availability
Churches
Strong Leadership/Women in Leadership
Community Pride
Partnerships

CHANGE
Extended Hours for businesses
More welcoming of newcomers
Stronger partnerships with like-minded organizations
More jobs
More locally based services
Youth/Family activities
Emphasize Physical Health with Parks/Trails
Identify & Market Pine City Brand
Increase engagement by residents including youth
Hotel/Banquet Center/Community Center
GLBT Resources
Homelessness Resources
High Speed Transit
Increased entertainment options
Increased leadership building
Increase community pride

CREATE
Evening Shopping Opportunities to Buy Local
Strong Neighborhoods (National Night Out)
Churches working together
Encourage Healthy LIfestyles
Market Pine City
Foster Business Growth & Jobs
Increased investment in Education
Increased Military Support
Embrace & encourage Entrepreneurs
Intergenerational Opportunities/Community Center
Strengthen partnerships in arts, biz, & orgs
Improve local coverage of Pine City events

What things would you agree with? Which would you add? As Pine City approaches its comprehensive plan for the next 20-30 years, what are the things that you value and would like to see our community focus on?

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Singer-songwriter Renee Schminkey set to perform

 -Pine Center for the Arts 2010 Concert Series continues at the Fur Post Friday evening

The songs of local teen singer-songwriter Renee Schminkey come alive this Friday at the Northwest Company Fur Post in Pine City and locals will not want to miss out on this up-and-coming artist.  Schminkey recently recorded her first CD of acoustic tracks, a series of profound and sometimes comic reflections on life and love.  Schminkey has been performing coffeehouse concerts at Java Joe’s Bistro in Pine, as well as several appearances at venues throughout the Twin Cities, and is pleased to be making her first formal concert to Pine City audiences.

Friday’s concert begins at 7pm and advanced tickets are strongly recommended as seating is limited.  Tickets can be purchased at Cabin Coffees, Java Joe’s, or at Pine Center from the Arts in downtown Pine City.  Schminkey is also the Artist of the Month in the Pine Center for the Arts gallery, with a wide range of paintings, sketches, drawings, and sculptures on display.

The Pine Center for the Arts 2010 Concert Series continues Friday, October 9 with

Canadian singer-songwriter Lorri Soloman.  Visit www.pinecenter.org or search for Pine Center for the Arts on Facebook to learn more about these concerts, as well as other classes, special events, and gallery exhibits.

PTC enrollment reaches, surpasses milestone figure of 1,000

PINE CITY, Minn. – With a fall enrollment headcount of 1,022, Pine Technical College now is serving its largest enrollment in college history. While the economy has factored into PTC’s higher enrollment, President Robert Musgrove notes there’s more to it.

“In addition to current economic conditions, more people are recognizing we offer quality instruction, transferability, accreditation and MnSCU affiliation – and we’re affordable. Altogether, PTC just makes sense for Pine Area students,” Musgrove says.
PTC responded to the enrollment surge by hiring additional full-time and part-time instructors, which allowed the college to offer more course sections. Plus, more evening and weekend courses were offered this fall semester to accommodate classroom and lab availability.

“We’re working hard to meet the needs of our region and be an engine of workforce development,” says Nancy Mach, PTC’s Dean of Student Affairs. “One focus of our mission is to be a community resource for quality education that improves and empowers learners, and by the numbers, we’re doing that – we broke 1,000!” Mach exclaims.

Along these same lines, the financial aid department has seen and processed a record number of FAFSAs (Free Applications for Federal Student Aid). At the fall start, the college received 1,107 financial aid applications compared to 944 received at last year’s fall start – a 12 percent increase.

In addition to more instructors, more courses, more financial aid processing, the college also has grown physically to accommodate the surge. In July, the campus landscape underwent a major change with the addition of 80 new parking spaces. And, in anticipation of future growth and services, PTC has plans to add a hi-tech business incubator to the campus. Groundbreaking for this new 20,000 square-foot facility is planned for July, 2011.

PTC offers certificates, diplomas and associate degrees and currently is accepting applications for its spring, 2011 semester, which starts Jan. 10, 2011. For more information, call 320-629-5100, or visit http://www.pinetech.edu.

Pine City Horizons September Board Minutes

Pine City Horizons Board Meeting Minutes Monday, September 20, 2010 5pm at Horizons/Chamber Office

Purpose: Sustain the vision of building prosperity, reducing poverty-keep the fire alive and coordinate work team activities in the community.
Vision: Welcome to Pine City where people live, work and play. Our beautiful city offers many recreational choices, community events and an active arts community. Youth are healthy, active and drug-free and part of a positive multi-generational culture. Energy is renewable and sustainable. We welcome change that makes our community better and we welcome you to visit or stay and live here with us.

Present: Jenny Erdmann (Co-chair), Lezlie Sauter (PR), Wendy Johnson (Co-Chair), Jan
 Nettleton, Nathan Johnson, Becky Maki (Treasurer) & Sean Stevens (Note-Taker).

Learning About….No learning events on this months agenda

August Meeting Minutes: Approved

Work Team Reports:
• Everything Pine City: Awaiting branding recommendations to tailor look of kiosk. Continue
to make suggestions to Information Guide for style & content. Next meeting=10/13, 5pm
• Youth: Met with AmeriCorps volunteer with Kettle Kinship in consideration of partnering with
them for mentoring. Next meeting=10/7, after ECC meeting which begins at 3:15pm.
• People Helping People Prosper: Last work team meeting was spent prioritizing work plans. Homelessness,MicroloansandOCCweretoponthelist. Jenny Erdmann and Wendy Johnson have been very active with quickly approaching OCC (Oct 26). 80 letters for donations were recently sent out and will need follow up calls soon. 9 vendors on board to date. Wendy is working with local churches for donations. She also wondered about asking for help with facebook. Sean updated the Board on Family Pathways and questioned whether PC Horizons should appeal to Family Pathways to participate in programming in PC, instead of just raising funds here. Next meeting=10/7, 5pm.

Old Business/Other:
• Pop Vox Video: Video is shot, Sean will send out the final edit when completed
• School Drive: Served 53 families, 122 kids. The remaining supplies went to ALC, CLC and
then on to OCC
• Pioneer Article: Many Horizons members were interviewed and Judy will have article out next
week.
• Community Garden Fencing: Board suggested Ryan, Mike and Aaron as possible volunteers
for this quick project. Becky Maki also suggested the Area Learning Center. Sean also wanted
to price a sign for this area & the Board agreed to look at pricing.
• Funding Requests/Reimbursements: A request was made of the Board to consider its
system for funding requests and reimbursements. Board agrees that two signers should be available in case of absence of a single member (Wendy Johnson is 2nd signer). Sean will draft a form and research a policy for funding requests. Treasurer will provide a balance report at each meeting. Additionally, a request was made of the Board to reimburse Jenny Erdmann for postage used to mail donation requests for OCC. Board votes to approve request.
• Laptop: Board is interested in attaining a laptop for Horizons/public use. Sean will research opportunities to attain this from grants, Pine Tech or manufacturers.
• Homeless Shelter: Board is interested in investigating the use of the old Sherriff’s office as a shelter and partnering with an existing program to run it. Sean and Nathan will report at next meeting.
• Comprehensive Plan: Horizons will present information at the City Open House as to its perspective on Comp plan. Goals and Strategies? Board mentions Housing as a chief concern, especially high rents as mentioned in recent Pioneer article. Lezlie Sauter will provide material from previous meetings on this topic.
Upcoming Events

9/25 Horizons Regional Training Workshop @ NW Fur Post, 830am to 530pm
10/26 Operation Community Connect @ Lighthouse Church, 10am to 6pm
10/27 Pine City Comprehensive Planning Open House

Weekend Plans in Pine City?

It’s the last weekend of September and Autum officially began on Thursday this week. So what are your plans for the weekend?

Saturday, September 25th: Pine City Horizons is hosting a Regional Training Workshop from 8:30 – 5:00. Topics include leadership training and community development. There are still spots available, please contact Sean Stevens at 320-629-2575 ext 115 today! Or join us at the Northwest Company Fur Post at 8:30.

Saturday, September 25th: Farmer’s Market in Robinson Park will be open from 11am – 2pm. The market continues through the end of October.

September 24 – 26: Sticks and Stones Art and Cultural Festival invites everyone for the festival event. Held at the Kanabec History Center in Mora. Friday 6-9pm, Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday 11am-4pm. Admission is free for the exhibits and music entertainment. Pine Center for the Arts will be hosting a booth during this event, so be sure to stop in and see our local arts members. Call 320-679-1665 for full schedule.

Saturday & Sunday, September 25 & 26: Angels of Hope is serving Pancake Breakfast from 8am – Noon at Lakeview Sulpper Club on the north end of Lake Pokegama. For more details contact 320-336-9191 or 320-629-8039.

Sunday, September 26: Join the Pine City Area Chamber of Commerce in celebrating the 2010 Citizen of the Year awarded to Michael Sauser. There will be an Open House reception from 3-5pm with a short presentation beginning at 3:30pm. The community is invited to attend the reception at the North West Company Fur Post, 12551 Voyageur Lane.

If you know of any additional events that are not listed, please share a comment on this post.

Coldwell Banker Results – Hammer and Spade Award

Coldwell Banker Results is now accempting nominations for the “2010 Hammer and Spade Award”

The annual award is selected from YOUR NOMINATIONS! Please consider a property in your Pine City area neighborhood that has made great improvements – either in landscaping (Spade) or on the exterior of their home (Hammer). These improvements enhance our neighborhoods – and thus our community!

Simply give us the name and address of the property owner you wish to nominate and email it to us no later than 11/1/10 to clientservices@cbresult.com.

For more details on this award, visit our webpage at www.cbresults.com or find us on Facebook.

Horizons: Partnerships key to fighting poverty

This article originally appeared in the Pine City Pioneer on September 23rd and was written by Judy Lawhon…

Partnerships are what it will take for the Horizons program to make an impact on poverty. That’s the message that VISTA volunteer Sean Stevens conveys repeatedly as he talks about Horizons goals and projects.

Stevens’ position is a partnership between Horizons and the city of Pine City. He said this shared position is innovative for Americorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) which is a national service program designed specifically to fight poverty. Most times, the positions involve organizations such as Habitat for Humanity or literacy programs (such as at Pine City Elementary). Stevens said Pine City has been very proactive in including Horizons goals for lowering poverty levels in the area in its comprehensive plan.

Stevens comes to Pine City with extensive experience in doing community service, helping cities with economic development and working with small businesses. He was a VISTA volunteer in Boise, Idaho where he helped the city navigate economic difficulties. When he and his wife decided to move back to Minnesota with their children, he said the opportunity to come to work in Pine City provided an opportunity to use his background and knowledge to make a difference.

“You can always make money in private enterprises, but not always have the great opportunity to serve. This is an opportunity to get back into serving a small community,” he said.

Horizons is a program supported by the University of Minnesota Extension that involves leadership education, community discussion, visioning and action for rural communities to help eliminate poverty and encourage a positive future for the communities. Pine City area residents who are concerned about poverty issues in the area went through the visioning process and after extensive leadership training and setting goals, three work groups were established. These groups are Everything Pine City, Youth Looking Forward and People Helping People Prosper.

Pine City Horizons recently received $10,000 to help towards accomplishing their goals. The money was not available to the group until it had three work groups with each having different plans and one big work plan. The U of M Extension also required a fiscal agent for the funds. The requirement was a nonprofit organization to have the checking account and keep records of how the money was spent. Pine City’s Pregnancy Resource Center agreed to act as fiscal agent. They do not influence spending, only keep records of transactions.

Lezlie Sauter who works for Lakes and Pines, Inc. has been involved in the program since the start. She is now part of the Everything Pine City work group, along with Becky Schueller and Nathan Johnson, that is in the process of putting together a complete and comprehensive resource guide for Pine City residents. This includes kiosks that will be placed throughout the city with information, phone numbers, websites of places where people can receive assistance along with a place to post community events and other relevant information.

The group has also developed a spread sheet that will be updated yearly that includes resources available. “There is so much information and services available that people don’t know about,” said Sauter.

She said it’s been a struggle to complete all of the requirements to receive the $10,000. It’s been difficult and continues to be time intensive. “These are big ideas and a lot of work to be done by volunteers,” Sauter added.

Becky Maki is with the Youth Looking Forward work group. She said the group has three goals: after school programming; working with Kettle Kinship on mentoring; and facilitating clear communication about parent education opportunities. She sees partnerships and sharing resources as the key to successfully helping people. She sees the work group’s role to partner with the PTO, Early Childhood Coalition, Kettle Kinship, Pine Center for the Arts and Pine Tech as the only way to make the best use of resources.

“We are not in competition with anyone. We are taking the right track to be behind the scenes and pulling people together,” she emphasized.

Stevens said he is impressed with the level of activism and involvement of the people of Pine City. “People are so involved (in this community),” he said.

The community garden is one Horizons project that has been very successful. It is in its second season. Another Horizons initiative is participation in Angel Food Ministries, a program where food is available for purchase at approximately one-half of the cost in stores. Information about Angel Food is available at the Pregnancy Resource Center in the Pine Government Center.

Another goal is still in the planning stages. A store would be opened and clothing, sports equipment, appliances and other goods and services would be available for sale, trade or barter.

He said the Horizons group really thought about how poverty manifests itself and about how to create solutions. “It’s almost impossible to identify homeless and emergency housing needs in rural areas,” he said. “It’s difficult to understand how big the problem is in a rural area.”

For instance, he said there may be few resources in this city for victims of abuse and often it is extremely difficult for them to get to Hinckley or Cambridge for help. “What can Pine City do, who can we partner with?” he asked.

One way to bring awareness of resources available to Pine County residents is through Operation Community Connect. Horizons staff is hosting this event on Oct. 26 at the Lighthouse of the Pine City Evangelical Free Church. The community is invited. Organizations from throughout the area will be available to provide information about the services provided. Again, the word “partnerships” comes to mind—organizations working together in one location to help the community.

“People involved in Horizons realize that they can assist each other; they don’t have to tackle problems on their own. This is a good path to getting things done,” Stevens added.

Farmers’ Market hosts kids’ events

Farmer’s Market in the Park

 (Robinson Park – Downtown Pine City)

 FREE Kids Events

 Saturday, September 18, 2010

 11am –1pm

 Free games, prizes and caramel apples

 at the Kids’ Kitchen

 Saturday, October 30, 2010

 11am – 1pm

 Pumpkin Carving/Decorating

 Sponsored by: Pine Center for the Arts

Free Caramel Apples

Come to the Farmers Market this Saturday 11-1 and kids can make a caramel apple. The apples are donated by Bill and Dawn Carpenter, one of our many wonderful vendors. See you there!

Cast of “Guys and Dolls” Announced

  • Fall Musical involves nearly 70 PCHS students

The cast of Pine City High School’s fall musical, “Guys and Dolls,” was announced this week, with lead roles going to senior Greg Shelton, junior Jorie Williamson, sophomore Adam Martin, and freshman Hannah Kloeckl.  The musical is often billed as the greatest musical comedy ever written, a classic fable of Broadway that was written in the mid-1950s by famed songwriter Frank Loesser.  Set in the late-1930s, the musical tells the story of hapless gamblers (the “Guys”) and the women who can’t help but
love them (the “Dolls”).   The musical features several classic songs,
including “Luck Be a Lady” and “Sit Down You’re Rockin’ the Boat.”

Other leading roles were awarded to senior Josh Palmer and junior Sean Kehren who were cast as Nicely-Nicely Johnson and Benny Southstreet, respectively.  Seniors Aaron Nisley (Arvide), Trevor Clune (Big Jule), and Thomas Pitzen (Lt. Brannigan) also earned featured roles.  A total of 39 students in grades eight through twelve were selected for the cast by a seven-member audition committee.

Director Brad Mariska is excited for the show, saying that the cast is one of the most talented he’s ever had the chance to lead: “every year for the past several years we’ve been able to select more and more challenging scripts with ever-increasingly demanding singing, and every year the students step up and perform to a level that exceeds not only the expectations of the audience, but even me.  That’s something that the whole community can take pride in.”

This fall, Mariska is joined by new assistant director Beth Steinleitner, who has found great success with Pine City’s Speech Team the past two seasons, as well as veteran assistants Jay Schueller, Jen Krinke, JoLynn Howard, and Beth Dempsey.

Performances of “Guys and Dolls” take place over two weekends, on November 11, 12, 13, 19, and 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Pine City Elementary Auditorium. A matinee will be presented on November 14 at 2:30 p.m., with
a free backstage tour for families beginning at 1:30 p.m.   Tickets go on
sale next month at several area businesses.

The complete cast list is provided below.  In addition to the cast members, an additional 30 students will work as crew behind the scenes and perform in the 14-piece pit orchestra.