Now showing, one night only: “How to Train Your Dragon”

Skaters: Get ready to rip it up on the West Side!

Homelessness “Point in Time” Count: Wed July 27th

The Central Minnesota Housing Partnership, in coordination with assistance organizations in 4 other states, are conducting Minnesota’s first summertime “Point-In-Time” count of unsheltered Minnesotans.  The completed surveys will help the Central Minnesota Housing Partnership and Central Minnesota Continuum of Care accurately report the extent of homelessness in Central Minnesota, apply for funding from HUD and provide direct assistance.

The Point-In-Time count is a simple 9 question survey and includes no contact information from the unsheltered individual.  In the event that an individual doesn’t elect to complete the survey, but indicates to a friend, family member, clergy, medical provider or anyone else that they will be without shelter on the day of the count, their numbers can still be counted.

Point-In-Time Survey

Wednesday, July 27th

A copy of the survey can be downloaded here, for individuals facing homelessness to self-report or for providers to submit on behalf of someone whom they know is going to be without shelter on July 27th.  

MN's summertime Point in Time Survey


Attention Cities, Restaurants, Schools and Hospitals: Save Energy, Water and Money!

The Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) have launched an innovative grassroots campaign this summer to help restaurants, schools, hospitals, living complexes and other cafeterias and commercial kitchens in Pine City save water, energy, and MONEY.  The “Make a Splash with the Water Saving Bulk Buy!” campaign will help folks in Pine City and across Minnesota increase their profits with water-saving equipment upgrades.  Now through September 1, 2011, people can sign up to take advantage of bulk-rate prices on efficiency upgrades to efficient pre-rinse spray valves and faucet aerators, dramatically cutting their water and energy use with these simple, inexpensive upgrades.

What does this mean?  Pre-Rinse Spray Valves (typically $68) cost $28 with the CERTs bulk buy, and are brought down even further to $14 with a rebate from Minnesota Energy Resources (MERC).  Typical energy and water savings for a restaurant are oftentimes $400 per year, resulting in a one-month payback–it doesn’t get any better than that!

The handiest resources for learning more are:

And MERCs’ latest press release is available at!

View the “Joseph” trailer, show opens

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on July 21, 23, 29, 30 and 31.  A 2 p.m. matinee will be performed on Sunday, July 24.  The show is directed by Bradley Mariska.  The cast features residents of Pine City, Hinckley, Mora, Braham and Rush City as well as Grantsburg and Siren, Wis.  A full cast list can be seen by visiting the Pine City Heritage Players’ page on Facebook at

National Night Out – August 2

Pine City to join cities nationwide for ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime’

Photo taken at a recent NNO event, an outdoor film in the backyard of Pine City resident Brad Mariska

On Tuesday, August 2nd, neighborhoods throughout Pine City are being invited to join forces with thousands of communities nationwide for the “28th Annual National Night Out” (NNO) crime and drug prevention event.  National Night Out, which is sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch (NATW) and co-sponsored by several local agencies and organizations, will involve over 15,000 communities from all 50 states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities and military bases around the world.   In all, over 37 million people are expected to participate in ‘America’s Night Out Against Crime’.  NNO 2011 is being supported in part by TARGET, a national corporate sponsor.

National Night Out is designed to:  (1) Heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; (2) Generate support for, and local participation in, local anticrime efforts; (3) Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and (4) Send a message to criminals letting them know neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

Beginning at 7 p.m. on August 2nd, residents in neighborhoods throughout Pine City and across the nation, are asked to lock their doors, turn on outside lights and spend the evening outside with neighbors and police.  Many neighborhoods throughout Pine City will be hosting a variety of special events such as block parties, cookouts, flashlight walks, visits from police, contests, youth activities and anticrime rallies.

For those hosting a neighborhood event who would like to register it so that others in the neighborhood can find out about it, and so a deputy or community leader can stop by, please do so by calling Pine City’s Neighborhood Watch co-chair and National Night Out coordinator, Jody Pangerl, at (320) 629-7553.

At 9 p.m. in Voyageur Park, all block parties and the rest of the community are invited to an open-air movie, “How to Train Your Dragon”, at Voyageur Park at Main St. N and 1st Ave. NW, behind the VFW.  Bring lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy the outdoor film with others in the community.

“How to Train Your Dragon” is a 2010 computer-animated fantasy film by DreamWorks Animation loosely based on the 2003 book of the same name.  The family film stars the voices of Craig Ferguson and Kristen Wiig, among other humorists.   The story follows a young Viking teenager named Hiccup who aspires to follow his tribe’s tradition of becoming a dragon slayer.  After finally capturing his first dragon, and with his chance at finally gaining the tribe’s acceptance, he finds that he no longer has the desire to kill it and instead befriends it.

National Project Coordinator Matt Peskin said, “This is a night for America to stand together to promote awareness, safety and neighborhood unity.  National Night Out showcases the vital importance of police-community partnerships and citizen involvement in our fight to build a safer nation.  On NNO, we invite neighborhoods nationwide to join us in Giving Crime & Drugs A Going Away Party.”

Contact:  Coordinator Jody Pangerl at (320) 629-7553 or City Planner Nathan Johnson at (320) 629-2575.

Optional:  National Association of Town Watch / (610) 649-7055 /


Opportunities Galore

Minnesota Community Pride Showcase

We told them about four ways in which our work is helping to improve Pine City.  Now, will the Minnesota Community Pride Showcase select one or more of the works to display in-person, and receive a plaque and $500 cash award on Community Pride Day September 3 at the Minnesota State Fair?  Be sure to sign-in with your Facebook to “like” or comment on the Iniatives, from the Horizons’ blog to pride, from the library renovation project to the City’s rainwater gardens.

Open Idea Challenge

Also, the Woodpecker Ridge rainwater gardens initiative was nominated for the Open Idea Challenge.  If Pine City is selected, $15,000 will be awarded to our community to further help raise awareness of and address water issues locally.  Again, your Facebook log-in will allow you to “like” and comment on this.

Miscellaneous Grant Opportunities

Rural Housing Preservation Grants are now available.  They provide qualified public agencies, private nonprofit organizations, which may include but not be limited to Faith-Based and Community Organizations, and other eligible entities grant funds to assist very low- and low-income homeowners in repairing and rehabilitating their homes in rural areas. In addition, the HPG program assists rental property owners and cooperative housing complexes in repairing and rehabilitating their units if they agree to make such units available to low- and very low-income persons.

Also, the Rural Business Opportunity Grants Program offers support for activities designed to promote sustainable economic development in rural communities with exceptional needs through the provision of training and technical assistance for business development, entrepreneurs, and economic development officials and support to assist with economic development planning.

Downtown Survey Results Shared

The Downtown Leadership Group, a.k.a. DLG, has been around a few years now and, last year, generated mission and vision statements.   When thinking about the future of downtown Pine City, we knew that it was an area of the community that belongs to all of us, the whole community.  But we also realized that we had to seek out input from downtown merchants so, to address that, a survey was circulated amongst the downtown merchants and building owners, seeking their opinions on various issues that affect downtown. 

Respondents want more to do downtown after 5 p.m., especially more entertainment options, and they have concerns about the lack of retail and variety and what they called “sparkle” as its buildings are starting to show their age.  These were some of the more prevalent results, along with much other information that points out the strengths of downtown as well as what could be done to improve it.  

Surveys were made available to all of the property owners in the downtown area property owners—87 in all.  We had 35 respondents or just over 40 percent.  Of these, there was a mix of downtown business owners, managers and residents.  Results were presented at an informational event June 9 whereby the DLG offered dessert and coffee to anyone who attended.  I told the handful of people who came what survey respondents thought about our precious downtown.  

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Tickets on sale for “Joseph”

Several Pine City businesses are selling tickets for the upcoming musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”.  Residents are encouraged to take advantage of a discount on ticket prices by buying in advance and saving.  The production runs July 21, 23, 24, 29, 30, and 31 at the Pine City Elementary Auditorium.

General Admission tickets for all performances can be purchased at Cabin Coffees, Nelson’s Market, Sauser’s Hardware, Pine Center for the Arts and The Flower Box.  The Flower Box is also the exclusive selling agent for Reserved Seating, which are the best 80 seats for each performance.  Purchased in advance, General Admission tickets cost $5 for students and $8 for adults while Reserved Seats are $9 each.

This production, sponsored by Pine City Heritage Players and the Pine City Arts Council, features the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber and tells the timeless Bible story of Joseph and his coat of many colors.  The Pine City show is directed by Bradley Mariska and features a cast of over 90 adults and kids from several area communities.

Says Mariska, “You won’t want to miss “Joseph,” so get your tickets now!”