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How To Set Up A Bodybuilding Home Gym



gym at home 1

Most people train in commercial or institutional public gyms but setting up your own gym at home can have many advantages.

Advantages of a Home Gym

You don’t have to commute to the gym, saving time and gas money.

Depending on how much money you invested up front, your home gym equipment will pay for itself after a couple of years.

You have full control over the equipment you purchase and use.

You don’t have to deal with distractions or crowded spaces.

You can even team up with some friends and share the equipment cost.

You can train anytime you want, even in the middle of the night, if you want to do so.

You can train in any way you want. Some gyms prohibit certain exercises or behaviors like grunting when training hard. In your own home gym you can do whatever you want, as long as you don’t disturb the neighbours.

Disadvantages of a Home Gym

Unless you share your place with buddies, you will have to train alone most of the time. While some people value this as they can concentrate more on their workout,

for other people this is just too boring and they need a bit of socializing or maybe even the extra motivation that comes from training with partners.

The selection of equipment will likely be very limited. This does not have to be detrimental to your training progress, depending on how you train and what your goals are, but for some people the lack of variety in equipment might become boring over time.

But then again, if you decide to set up a home gym you are very serious about your training anyway and you would never get bored by any lack of equipment variety.

A big disadvantage though could be that in case you have an accident or a heart attack and you are alone you may not get help immediately.

But the advantages of training in your own home gym usually far outweigh the disadvantages.

Home Gym Location

Training at a commercial public gym will usually cost you between $50-150 per month, depending on the place. Some gyms even charge you every time you use the facilities. Many times they also offer a lot of stuff that you don’t really want or need like juice bars, steam saunas, swimming pools and aerobic classes.

If you had an unlimited budget and enough space available you could set up your home gym as generously equipped as a public one but that isn’t necessary.

Let’s assume that your aim is to build muscle, get stronger, get lean and stay fit and healthy.

To achieve that, you actually don’t need a lot of equipment and you don’t even need a whole lot of space to set up a fine home gym.

A 10 x 20-foot room will suffice for all your training needs. Many people train in their garage or cellar or spare room in their house.

You can even rent a spare room elsewhere and team up with some buddies to share the cost of renting and equipment.

Make sure the place is neat and clean and has enough lighting and ventilation. For hot summers, you will need a fan, for cold winters appropriate heating.

A good idea would be to renovate the place and paint the walls with fresh paint and fix the floors so you feel right at home from the beginning. Since it will be a place where you will spend a lot of time, make sure it is as pleasant to you as possible.

The floor is very important. Make sure it is even and that it is not slippery. Ideally, it would have some rubber coating for stability and ease of cleaning.

You should also not train directly on concrete because that could damage your joints over time.

Basic Home Gym Equipment

The good news is that a home gym doesn’t have to be expensive at all. And you will need far less equipment than you might think of right now.

If you buy good but used equipment you can get everything for well under $1,000. Yes, you read that right: You can set up a great home gym for just $1,000 – or less!

You will have to invest a bit up front but the equipment will pay for itself after two or three years of not having to pay fees at a public gym and spending money on gas or public transport.

High Quality Olympic Barbell

The core of your training will be done with a high quality Olympic-style barbell.

Olympic barbells come in all classes of quality and price but the rule of thumb is that you should always buy a high quality barbell from a reputable manufacturer.

Power Rack

You will need some sort of device to securely set up the barbell for exercises like squatting and bench pressing. The best and most versatile piece of equipment for this is the Power Rack.

You can get decent ones for under $500 and have them delivered to your place.

An alternative could be a good Squat Rack, although their cost would be similar so it is better to get a Power Rack right from the start because they are more versatile and safer.

A good, solid Power Rack will last you a lifetime, too.


For exercises like bench presses, seated overhead presses and others you will need a sturdy and strong bench.

It’s up to you whether you buy a flat bench or an adjustable one for seated and incline press exercises.

Just make sure that the bench is very sturdy and heavy-duty. It should weigh at least 40 lbs and should not move or wobble when using it. This is very important for your safety.


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Twin Cities law professors on the US Constitution: about this series



Twin Cities law professors on the US Constitution: about this series

Government of the people? That takes will. And a way.

We the people are responsible for the will. The U.S. Constitution helps show the way.

As Mitchell Hamline law professor Afsheen John Radsan writes here, “The Constitution is special to me as the son of two Iranian immigrants who came to the United States in 1962 to pursue their American dreams. For both citizens and newcomers, the Constitution, as much as the Statue of Liberty, stands as a monument to their faith in this country’s potential for greatness.”

But when it comes to self-governance, we are not redeemed by faith alone. Government of the people requires good work — “eternal vigilance,” even — that persists from generation to generation. Understanding our Constitution, its ideas, mechanisms and applications, strengthens the people for the work.

Hence, this series of explanatory — but not pedantic! — columns, begun today by Professor Radsan. Over the next several Sundays and in the months to come, Twin Cities law professors from diverse backgrounds and perspectives will write about timely constitutional ideas and issues. The views they express are the views of the individual authors.

The series is a result of collaboration among Mitchell Hamline School of Law professors Natalie Netzel and Marie Failinger, students from St. Paul Public Schools and the Pioneer Press. Its aim is to offer foundational knowledge of the U.S. Constitution with hope of fostering civic engagement and respectful discourse on challenging topics.

Because it’s crucial that our young adults, too, engage in the work to uphold the Constitution and advance the ideals it represents, we asked Cayden Mayer, a junior at St. Paul Central High, to assist in the editing of today’s column. Thank you, Cayden.

And thank you, dear reader, for your interest in government by the people.

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Mitchell Hamline Professor Afsheen John Radsan: The Constitution is a monument to faith in our country’s potential for greatness



Mitchell Hamline Professor Afsheen John Radsan: The Constitution is a monument to faith in our country’s potential for greatness

Editor’s note: Over the next several Sundays and in the months to come, Twin Cities law professors from diverse backgrounds and perspectives will write about timely constitutional ideas and issues. Here’s more about this series.

In 1787, 55 founding fathers gathered in Philadelphia to write a new charter for an independent nation. They expected other citizens, eventually, to read what they were writing. James Madison, more important to the drafting process than General George Washington, had read many philosophers but he still had the good sense to write more clearly than they did. For his proposals to be ratified by a necessary nine out of 13 states, the Constitution could not be too long or too technical. If citizens were confused by any provisions, they would assume the worst.

Madison knew that if the states did not ratify a new constitution, they would be left with the disorder from their Articles of Confederation. These articles had governed since the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776. A basic flaw was that they barely allowed any central power to resolve disputes between and among states.

Madison succeeded. Our Constitution, with fewer than 30 amendments, has endured more than two centuries. Modern citizens, however, have lost their impulse to read it. Why should this be? My pocket version covers just 35 pages. The Constitution is special to me as the son of two Iranian immigrants who came to the United States in 1962 to pursue their American dreams. For both citizens and newcomers, the Constitution, as much as the Statue of Liberty, stands as a monument to their faith in this country’s potential for greatness.

If you have not read it or if you who have would like to return to what you read years before, what are the highlights? We might all ask whether the Constitution has lived up to what historian Joseph Ellis describes as a “blueprint for political and economic success for the nation-state in the modern world.” Does it deserve credit for turning a “wholly peripheral outpost of Western Civilization” into a superpower?


Start with the preamble. It explains that the Constitution was established to form “a more perfect Union.” Note the phrase “We the people.” The states, of course, through their people, were transferring power from the Articles of Confederation. By 1819, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall, in a famous case about a national bank, would claim that the bedrock of constitutional power rests with the people, not with the states — one of many steps toward more federal control of our lives. The Constitution’s secondary goals are stated: justice, tranquility, the common defense, the general welfare, and liberty. Back then, citizens expected far less from their government. They viewed government as much as a threat to their liberty as a means for enhancing their freedom. The founders’ Constitution did not promise healthcare or education or subsidized meals.


After the preamble, look at the first five articles. They are an outline for how our government is supposed to work. While the Constitution fails to answer all questions, it provides a reasonable framework for answering these questions. A basic aspect of our “rule of law” is settling disputes through dialogue rather than violence.


The first three articles lay out the branches of federal government in descending order of importance. They are based on ideas from Montesquieu and Locke about checks and balances on political power.

First, and most important, comes the legislature, Congress. Next is the executive branch or the presidency. Third is the judiciary or the Supreme Court.

By a great compromise in Philadelphia, Congress is divided into two parts: The House of Representatives, based on population, favors the big states; and the Senate, ensuring two senators per state regardless of their populations, favors small states. Accordingly, today California has the largest representation in the House while California and Wyoming still have an equal number of senators. Today, as a result of gridlock and dysfunction, Congress has become relatively weaker. So citizens look elsewhere for assistance in handling their problems.

Article Two describes the presidency. Given the country’s need for decisive and unified action against various threats — pirates, terrorists, or pandemics — presidential power has surged. Critics warn of an “imperial presidency,” a reminder that the founders rebelled against a king. Defenders of a strong presidency reply with the concept of a “unitary executive.” They see a parallel to the overall goal of a more perfect union.

The Supreme Court, covered in Article Three, has also surged in importance. The founders would be shocked at how Americans today look to nine unelected justices to decide some of the most important issues in our lives. Fewer moral choices are thus left to state legislatures and ordinary citizens. More choices are framed as matters of “rights.” Rights, of course, cannot be voted upon and are protected by the courts from majority excesses. Take unsegregated education, a right guaranteed in 1954 in Brown v. Board of Education. Or the right to end a pregnancy at some point before the birth of a fetus (Roe v. Wade in 1974). Or the right to same-sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015).

Article Three does not state how many justices need to be on the Supreme Court. It is up to Congress. Although the number of justices can be changed without an amendment to the Constitution, there is a longstanding tradition of nine justices; the last time there was a different number on the Court was in the nineteenth century.


Glance at Article Four. It breaks down barriers between states. The “full faith and credit” clause helps explain why a Minnesota driver’s license is accepted when we cross into Wisconsin. Or why a couple who is married in California is not required to get remarried when they move to Minnesota. And the “privileges and immunities” clause helps explain why Wisconsin cannot exclude Minnesota residents from employment in Wisconsin.


Look at Article Five. This is where you can step outside of the Constitution, where we can go back on everything that has been decided. This article covers the process for amending the Constitution.

By design, it is more difficult to amend the Constitution than it is for Congress to pass a law or statute. Just so, laws that come out of Congress are “ordinary” statutes. The Constitution, by contrast, is a higher or more fundamental law. The Supreme Court, through its judicial review, decides whether a challenged statute or another challenged action is consistent with the Constitution, something established in the famous case of Marbury v. Madison in 1803.

Now that the Supreme Court has decided that the Constitution provides a right to same-sex marriage, for example, those who say marriage should be available only to couples of different sexes have limited options for change. They can hope a new group on the Supreme Court will “undiscover” or “overrule” this right. Or they can attempt to amend the Constitution concerning marriage. As a comparison, think how the “right” to drink alcoholic beverages was once prohibited by amendment and then renewed by another amendment.


After the articles, skim the first 10 amendments. These amendments, also called the Bill of Rights, were necessary to get the Constitution ratified. Madison originally said that individual rights were already protected by the checks and balances embedded in the first three articles. He considered a bill of rights redundant. Yet Madison, ever practical, relented when he saw that he did not have the votes for a simpler document in the state-by-state votes on ratification.

The Ninth Amendment takes care of a concern that Madison, in listing some rights, may have overlooked others: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” The Constitution, in other words, includes these rights but is not limited to them.

The Tenth Amendment is almost as short as the Ninth: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people.” The founders, through their paradoxical innovation of “federalism,” believed they could provide more freedom for the people by providing two layers of government; the state governments would check the federal government at the same time the federal government checked the states. Further, this amendment makes clear that the federal government does not have all power. Some things must be left to the states. Citizens and politicians, to this day, have argued about the appropriate balance between federal and state power. Think of mask mandates during the pandemic. Did we need a national standard? Or was it better to let the states serve as “individual laboratories?”


Of all the compromises at the founding, nothing was more important than the dirty deal on slavery. Slavery is not mentioned by name in the original constitution. Still, everybody in Philadelphia knew it was the price of getting slave-holding states to join the union. The Southern states drove a hard bargain. They protected their power through the anti-democratic features of the Senate as well as an “electoral college” for selecting the president. Slaves, treated as property, still counted concerning the size of a state’s delegation in the House of Representatives. The Southern states also made clear that slavery could not be abolished by law or by amendment before 1808.

Some of the founders believed time was on their side. They hoped that slavery would soon disappear as an economical institution and would no longer create disputes between citizens and states. That belief proved insanely optimistic. It took four years of Civil War as well as 600,000 lives to end slavery in the United States.

The constitutional victory was enshrined in the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments, the most significant overhaul of the Constitution since the founding. These amendments are so significant that somebody, like me, who pushes for an “originalist” interpretation of the Constitution, should be asked why the appropriate reference is 1787 rather than 1870. The “Civil War” amendments took the nation from a place where some human beings could be abused and tortured as property to an expectation that “we the people” includes everyone, no matter color or creed.

Afsheen John Radsan is a professor at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. He is a former federal prosecutor as well as a former assistant general counsel at the Central Intelligence Agency.

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Letters: Four young parents killed. Should the suspects have been in jail?



2nd suspect linked to quadruple homicide investigation turns himself in

Last Saturday night it appears that two men who should have been in jail or prison were cruising around in borrowed cars and now parents of young children are dead. It is pure folly to arrest and arrest and arrest dangerous, violent males and keep turning them loose over and over and over. What are the judges thinking? Or, are the judges thinking?

Tom Sexton, St. Paul


What Gen. Milley did

What General Milley did, calling his counterpart contact in the Chinese government, in the face of a presidential rant, was exactly right. And it was just what one would expect of a loyal, patriotic and competent military officer; serving and protecting the people of the United States of America from a powerful adversary.

Carl Brookins, Roseville


Is he permitted to serve?

A Sep. 15 Pioneer Press headline proclaims, “Rep. John Thompson says he’ll serve as an independent after House DFLers expel him.” To many of us, the question isn’t Thompson’s political affiliation, but rather is he even legally-permitted to serve?

Thompson’s domestic abuse accusations and infamous traffic stop notwithstanding, why hasn’t anyone — the Legislature, the press, anyone — demanded that Thompson show proof of residency to establish whether he did, or did not, live in his district (the state, for that matter) when he ran for office?

On its face, this negative coverage of Thompson seems to be a rare instance of a politician’s feet being held to the fire. However, more and more it seems like a smokescreen, drawing attention away from what could be the representative’s most egregious transgression. If John Thompson lied to obtain office in Minnesota, it needs to be exposed immediately so that this profane, volatile man can disappear from the public eye.

Thomas L. Bonnett, Mendota Heights


Who the decision makers are

Many of those opposing abortions are no more pro-life than anyone else. Do they really care about the lives of poor disadvantaged kids and support laws that enrich their lives? Do they consider being foster parents or adopting special-needs kids. Do they consider the fate of foster kids “who are aged out of the system” often to a non-existent family system?

Equally difficult to understand are the “pro-life” positions of governors who want to ban all abortions but yet allow countless kids to become infected and die by opposing mandatory masks and vaccines. “Death by abortion” or Covid-19 is still death. Tell me how they can justify their support of opposing masks and vaccines (people have a right to decide their own health care) and then insist on making health care decisions for all women by opposing abortions. Think of Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas making decisions for you.

Jane Greeman, Woodbury

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Literary pick of the week: ‘Lost Songs of the Suomi Synod’



Literary pick of the week: ‘Lost Songs of the Suomi Synod’

If you are of Finnish descent — or interested in music — Minneapolis-based folk/rock singer/songwriter Jonathan Rundman has a treat for you in his self-published new book, “Lost Songs of the Suomi Synod,” which includes many “firsts.”

The Suomi Synod is a Lutheran denomination that Rundman says faded away in 1962 and the only people who still remember it in person are in their 80s and older. His book, 10 years in the making, is a musical and theological memoir of his Lutheran ancestors who immigrated to America from Finland in the early 1900s. It comprises arrangements and translations of 28 songs from the Nordic immigrant community who settled in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Rundman includes songs appearing in English for the first time (“O God, We Love to Praise Your Name”), songs appearing with Finnish translations for the first time (“For Such a Time As This”), songs published in North America for the first time (“Psalm 100”) and new music composed for traditional texts (“Paavo the Peasant”). There are also pictures of people and places important to the synod’s traditions.

Rundman was born in Hancock, Mich., the historic headquarters of the Suomi Synod, which later merged into the Lutheran Church in America. As he traveled coast-to-coast as a touring musician, he searched for music in antique stores, church basements, Lutheran seminaries, and historical archives at Finlandia University.

“When word got out on Facebook that I was doing this research, Finnish-Americans around the country began to mail me old sheet music, school yearbooks, newspapers, and hymnals,” he recalls.

“Lost Songs” is praised by scholars of ethnomusicology, church history, and Scandinavian studies in Finland and the U.S.

Mark Sedio, cantor at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, writes: “Growing up in another Minnesota immigrant community with a strong tradition of hymnody, I longed for a resource like this. Jonathan has provided current and future generations of Finns, Finnish-Americans, and everyone else, a direct bridge to songs of a heritage that not only served worshipping communities but nurtured faith. Not, by any means, a collection of historical musical artifacts, he has crafted a book of usable texts and tunes for now.”

Rundman will launch his book with a free concert/lecture and book signing at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, at Luther Seminary, 2481 Como Ave., St. Paul. For information go to:

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Ask Amy: Dating apps beget “situationship”



Ask Amy: Woman should leave abusive relationship

Dear Amy: I was in an exclusive monogamous relationship with a man for eight months and, unfortunately, I kept catching him using dating apps, even after I had drawn a hard boundary about it.

He also lied to me about substance abuse (he was in AA for years but kept falling off the wagon).

He told me he was a social drinker and was just taking a break from alcohol for health and fitness reasons.

He would go dark and fall out of communication and then deflect onto me when I would ask him why.

So finally, after a week of him being particularly inconsiderate and insensitive, I broke off our relationship.

I did so with honor and said goodbye to his friends and family and spoke not one unkind word about him to anybody.

Now he wants to go in for couples counseling, even though when I was with him, he refused to listen to me about even the simplest thing, like deleting his dating apps.

I don’t know why he wants to go to counseling now that he has completely repelled me.

I don’t even know how I feel about this anymore.

A part of me really loves him still, but a part of me doesn’t trust the relationship (or our “situationship”), since he kept a whole separate list of rules for himself than he did for me.

I’d really like your take on this.

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Angela Davis talks about her life, her shift from television to public radio, living in Highland Park and being known for being nice



Angela Davis talks about her life, her shift from television to public radio, living in Highland Park and being known for being nice

As I often do when I’m about to interview a public figure, I asked some friends for their impressions of that person. In this case, it was longtime local television anchor and current Minnesota Public Radio News host Angela Davis.

Each person I talked to said something along the lines of “she seems nice.” And despite the fact several were gay men, no one was being shady in the slightest. After decades in the Twin Cities media, Davis has a stellar reputation for being nice.

“I hear that a lot,” Davis said with a laugh. She proceeded to tell me a story from her time at the University of Maryland. Her then-boyfriend was in a fraternity that was sponsoring a Miss Black Unity pageant and he urged her to enter.

“In rehearsing and preparing, I wasn’t sure about the talent section,” she said. “I don’t sing, I’m not good at any arts. I ended up devoting a lot time to coaching other contestants. But when it came time for the pageant, I wanted to win. If I’m going to devote time to something, I want to win.

“I won Miss Congeniality. The prize that goes to the person who is nice. Who wants to be known for being nice? But that’s always been the impression I make on a lot of people. And I appreciate that and value that. It comes from the way I was raised.”

Davis, 53, grew up on a tobacco farm in Virginia. Her mother got pregnant while in college, moved back home and lived with her parents. Davis’ mother moved away when she was 9 and Davis stayed with her grandparents.

She went on to attend the University of Maryland on a full four-year scholarship and graduated with a journalism degree. After spending a few years at CNN and stations in Lexington, Ky., and Washington, D.C., Davis took a job at KSTP in 1994 and, beyond a brief stint living in Dallas, the Twin Cities has been her home ever since.

After decades at KSTP and WCCO, Davis made the decision to move to public radio and landed a hosting gig at the 11 a.m. hour in 2018. Davis lives in St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood with her husband of 25 years, Duchesne Drew, who took the job as MPR president last summer after spending decades at the Star Tribune and nonprofits. They have two children currently attending historically Black colleges: Charlotte, a marketing major who just started her freshman year at North Carolina A&T State University; and Kevin, a software engineering major at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Earlier this month, Davis’ talk show moved to 9 a.m. at MPR. I spoke to Davis on the final day of her first week in the new time slot.

Angela Davis and Duchesne Drew at Lake Bde Maka Ska (then named Lake Calhoun) during the summer of 1995 when they were dating. Davis, a veteran local television anchor, joined Minnesota Public Radio News in 2018. Duchesne Drew was named president of Minnesota Public Radio in April 2020. (Courtesy of Angela Davis)

On growing up on a farm:

“There wasn’t a lot to do outside of work, church and school. I read a lot. I was the kid who had a subscription to Highlights. My grandparents were interested in history and politics and I watched the network news with them. And the Black church is a place of a lot of discussions about politics and business and life and survival.

“I developed an interest in how do people live outside the world I know. I watched ‘The Today Show’ and was fascinated by Bryant Gumbel. I loved being able to read the newspaper or watch network news and see other parts of the U.S. and the world.

“Early on in school, I was identified as someone with strong writing skills who was very chatty. Mr. Terry used to call me out in class. He called me by my last name. ‘Davis, I hope one day you’re able to get a job that pays for talking because you’re always running your mouth.’ Well, I’m getting paid for talking. I hope you’re proud of me.”

On choosing to pursue journalism:

“When I was growing up, I was deep into Home Ec and the Future Homemakers of America and that brought me into public speaking. I never had a fear of speaking in front of people, it always felt very natural. When I was deciding on a major, journalism seemed to fit. At the time, the Baltimore Sun was trying to diversify its staff, which was overwhelmingly white. They offered full four-year scholarships and four summer internships to train high school graduates. At the end, they had someone ready to hit the ground running.”

On her shift to television news:

“Having worked as an intern, I realized I didn’t want to work in newspapers. I love the power of strong writing and video. I turned down an offer to become a nightside police reporter and instead went to Atlanta to work at CNN, which paid half what the Sun would have paid me.

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Stillwater: Couple’s $1 million donation will jump-start Lumberjack Landing construction



Stillwater: Couple’s $1 million donation will jump-start Lumberjack Landing construction

The loves of Frank Freels’ life were his wife, Geri, their children and the St. Croix River — not necessarily in that order.

The Freelses spent decades boating on the St. Croix, docking their cruisers, which ranged from 36 feet to 53 feet, at Sunnyside Marina south of downtown Stillwater. Frank Freels, who died in 2012 at the age of 95, was a commodore of the St. Croix Yacht Club and two-time past president of Sunnyside Marina; Geri Freels served as president of the yacht club’s auxiliary.

Frank Freels fell in love with the St. Croix on the day he moved to Minnesota from Peoria, Ill., she said. “He always said he crossed the (Interstate 94) bridge and thought the river was so beautiful. It was the love of my husband’s life — I hope, second to me.”

The couple, who owned and operated a number of different businesses, including Distinction in Design in Plymouth, retired in 1994 and moved to Stillwater’s Oak Glen neighborhood.

“We feel we were very fortunate in life,” she said. “We came from nothing and worked for everything we have. It can be done in this country; it just can be. There were many times when our business could have gone belly up, but they didn’t. God blessed us so that we may bless others.”

The couple held fundraisers and donated to many causes, including the American Cancer Society, the American Red Cross, the Mayo Clinic and St. Vincent de Paul.

But it was an article in the Pioneer Press in November 2020 that led Geri Freels to think about a lasting legacy: a $1 million donation to the city of Stillwater to restore and rehabilitate the former Aiple house at Lumberjack Landing, the city’s newest park.

The former Aiple residence in Stillwater, seen Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, which overlooks the St. Croix River, will be remade into a canoe and kayak rental and storage building for the new Lumberjack Landing park. Stillwater’s newest park is located on 15 acres of land on nearly three-quarters of a mile of St. Croix River shoreline. Geri Freels is donating $1 million to the city to rehabilitate the buildings at Lumberjack Landing. Freel’s and her late husband, Frank Freels, the longtime commodore of the St. Croix Yacht Club, loved to be on the river. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)

Plans call for the 4,000-square-foot house, which belonged to the late Elayne Aiple, to be remodeled to include public restrooms, a community room, a scull-storage area, canoe/kayak rental vendor space and a picnic patio/pavilion.

“Not everybody can afford a boat,” Freels said. “When I found out there were going to be kayaks and picnic shelters and all of that, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s perfect for people who want to come to Stillwater, but can’t afford to live here.’ ”

Freels, 84, toured the future park for the first time on Tuesday afternoon with Mayor Ted Kozlowski and City Planner Abbi Wittman. “It’s absolutely beautiful,” she said, walking around the perimeter of the split-level house. “I had seen it from the river, but not from land. … I love the fact that you are planning a fishing pier.”


Some of her happiest memories include spending time on the river with Frank and friends, she said. The St. Croix Yacht Club owns two beaches on the Wisconsin side of the river, and the couple would pull their cruiser up on the sand and dock overnight.

“We would spend all weekend gunwale-to-gunwale,” she said. “Sometimes we’d be only a foot apart from the next boat on the beach. We all got to know each other very well. It was my way of camping.”

The couple started out with a 36-foot cruiser, then bought a 42-foot houseboat. From there, they graduated to a 53-foot cruiser and ended up with a 51-foot Coastal Cruiser. All were christened the Geri-Anne, she said.

“Our business was in the city, so we were weekends on the river,” she said.

Almost every Friday night during boating season, the couple would walk with friends from Sunnyside Marina through the Aiple barge property and eat in a downtown Stillwater restaurant. “Eventually, we felt so much like part-time Stillwater residents that when Frank finally retired, we built a home at Oak Glen,” she said.


Freels will present an $800,000 check to the Stillwater City Council on Tuesday night; the other $200,000 has been placed in a trust account that will be given to the city after she dies.

Under the terms of the donation, the money can be used only to improve the building. Prior to moving to Stillwater, the couple lived in Plymouth and Frank Freels served on the Plymouth City Council, she said. “We saw that many times, funds were used for other things other than what they were given for,” she said.

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Mike Lynch’s Skywatch: The King and his orbiting court



Mike Lynch’s Skywatch: The King and his orbiting court
Diagram courtesy of Mike Lynch

While you’re enjoying the full harvest moon this week, check out the King and Queen of the planets in our September skies. As darkness sets in, look for them side by side in the low southeast skies. They’re the brightest star-like objects in that part of the heavens. Jupiter, the king of the observable planets from Earth, is to the left of Saturn and is brighter than the queen. Both reached their closest approaches to Earth last month, but they’re still pretty close, at least relatively. This weekend Jupiter is 386 million miles away, while the tape measure to Saturn would be 861 million miles and change.

Jupiter is by far the largest planet in our solar system, and is mainly a big ball of hydrogen and helium gas. Its polar diameter is around 83,000 miles, and the diameter at the equator is a little over 88,000 miles. Jupiter is fatter in the middle because of its rapid rotation. It only takes 10 hours to make one complete rotation. The resulting centrifugal force works against gravity to cause Jupiter to bulge along its equator. Through a small telescope, it’s possible to see at least some of Jupiter’s darker cloud bands made up of methane, ammonia, and sulfur compounds. You can especially pick up on at least two darker cloud bands on either side of Jupiter’s equator. You may even see some subtle color to them.

You’ll see more bands and detail with larger scopes, and you might even see the Great Red Spot, a giant storm raging on Jupiter. It’s called the red spot, but in reality it will show up in a larger scope with a pale pink hue. The red spot isn’t always available, however, because of Jupiter’s speedy 10-hour rotation. Half of the time, the red spot is turned away from Earth. As I’ve told you before, the longer you gaze at Jupiter through the eyepiece of your scope, the more detail you’ll see. Try to look at it for at least 10-minute shots.

No matter how big or small your telescope is, you’ll get a kick out of watching Jupiter’s four brightest moons; Io, Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede. They orbit around the Jovian giant in periods of two to 16 days. Because of their continual movement, they change positions relative to the disk of Jupiter. You may see two on one side and two on the other, or three on one side and one on the other, or all four on one side. On some nights, one or more moons may be either behind Jupiter or camouflaged in front of it. If your telescope is powerful enough, you may see the shadow of a moon crossing in front of Jupiter. It’ll appear as a tiny dot against the backdrop of Jupiter’s clouds. With Jupiter so close to Earth right now, there’s a chance of seeing a moon shadow on Jupiter even with a smaller scope. It’s worth a try.

You can keep up on the position of Jupiter’s four brightest moons by checking out monthly magazines like “Astronomy” or “Sky and Telescope.” There are also websites to help you keep up with the moons. My favorite site is from Sky and Telescope magazine at

A great app from Sky and Telescope Magazine is simply called Jupiter Moons. I have it on my phone. In the diagram, you can see the positions of Jupiter’s moons during the coming week.

Jupiter has more than 80 known moons circling it, and there are probably many more that haven’t been confirmed yet. The four moons available through backyard telescopes are certainly the largest. They’re also referred to as the Galilean moons because the great astronomer and scientist Galileo used these moons to help prove that the sun, and not the Earth, was the center of what was then seen as the universe.

Io is the closest moon to Jupiter, and is a little over 2,200 miles in diameter. A little larger than our moon, it’s the most geologically active body in our solar system. Since it’s only about a quarter of a million miles from the very massive Jupiter, there’s a colossal gravitational wallop on Io from the mothership. The tidal forces are tremendous, and because of the constant stretching, heat builds up in Io’s interior to the point of melting. This, in turn, produces numerous and frequent volcanic eruptions.

The next moon out from Jupiter, Europa, is maybe the best candidate for life in our solar system. A sheet of ice covers Europa, and there may be an ocean of liquid water beneath it, or at least a slushy ocean. Once again, because it’s so close to Jupiter the tidal forces are strong enough to heat Europa’s interior, possibly allowing for liquid water below the ice. Where there is liquid water, there’s a chance of life as we know it.

Callisto and Ganymede are the largest and farthest away from Jupiter, and are both larger than our moon. In fact, Ganymede is even a little larger than Mercury, the closest planet to the sun. Both Ganymede and Callisto are heavily cratered bodies, not nearly as dynamic as Io and Europa.

Enjoy the never-ending dance of Jupiter’s moons!

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Charley Walters: Season’s first four games could determine futures for Vikings’ Mike Zimmer, Rick Spielman



Charley Walters: Season’s first four games could determine futures for Vikings’ Mike Zimmer, Rick Spielman

Should the Minnesota Vikings lose to the favored Cardinals in Arizona on Sunday, and on the ensuing two Sundays to superior Seahawks and Browns in Minneapolis, it would be hard to imagine owners Zygi and Mark Wilf retaining coach Mike Zimmer.

The betting here is that Zimmer could be gone before Columbus Day (Oct. 11). Presumably, assistant head coach and co-defensive coordinator Andre Patterson would replace him on an interim basis.

If Zimmer, 65, is dismissed, the Vikings would be expected to bring in a young, dynamic, offensive-minded coach. And then, in the first round of next year’s draft, even if they’re still stuck with Kirk Cousins’ $35 million contract, it would seem the Vikings need to draft a quarterback. Kellen Mond, drafted in the third round last spring, doesn’t appear the answer to succeed Cousins.

The way it looks now, the Vikings will have a high pick in April’s NFL draft. Quarterbacks expected to be among the top dozen or so picks in the draft are Carson Strong of Nevada, Spencer Rattler of Oklahoma, Sam Howell of North Carolina and Malik Willis of Liberty.

The Wilfs might not have a choice with Zimmer who, incidentally, is signed through 2023. They couldn’t bring back this operation next year and expect fans to buy expensive tickets.

The NFL trade deadline is Nov. 2. There are only a half-dozen or so Vikings considered untradable — Justin Jefferson (age 22), Dalvin Cook (26), Danielle Hunter (26), Brian O’Neill (26), Eric Kendricks (29), Adam Thielen (31) and Harrison Smith (32).

Rebuilding the Vikings would also seem to include dismissal of GM Rick Spielman, perhaps temporarily replacing him with VP of football operations Rob Brzezinski, and unloading player payroll for the rest of the year.

It would be hard to trust Spielman with hiring the next coach.

The guess here is that Vikings rooters might be accepting of a rebuild if it included a new coach, a new GM and a QB drafted in the first round next April.

Darrell Thompson, the Gophers record-setting running back who went on to play five seasons for the Green Bay Packers, feels that had Mohamed Ibrahim finished this season the way he started, he could have been a first-round pick in the NFL draft.

“Absolutely!” Thompson said. “Maybe not the beginning of the first round, but a first- or second-round draft choice. With his vision, his balance, his strength. We saw his yardage (163) against Ohio State, a national championship-level team. Auburn (140 yards in Outback Bowl in 2020). He’s not had a bad game.”

The 5-10, 210-pound Ibrahim is out for the season after surgery, presumably for a ruptured Achilles tendon suffered late against Ohio State.

Thompson, 53, played with assorted injuries and now has a hip replacement.

“Ibrahim can definitely come back; it’s probably going to take almost a year,” Thompson said. “Obviously I’m not a doctor, just a guy who’s watches football. There’s a blessing to being young — the body’s going to heal. He’s going to have all the wonderful modern things that we do now — the water, the treatment, the nutrition, the stretching, making sure that all the muscles are at the same level in strength.

“One thing we never had is that they (trainers) can actually measure and say what percentage you’re at, so we’re going to work at getting everything up to the same percentage. Which is why things typically fall apart again because something’s too strong, something’s too weak. So they train you back in balance. He will come back and I think he’ll have a great NFL career if he chooses.”

In his first two games for Houston, transferred former Gophers tight end and wildcat quarterback Seth Green from Woodbury caught one pass — a nine-yarder for a TD in a 38-21 loss to Texas Tech — and had no rushes.

Ex-Gopher Chris Streveler is the No. 3 QB for the Arizona Cardinals.

QB Aiden Bouman, son of ex-Vikings QB Todd Bouman, is a 6-6, 250-pound redshirt freshman for Iowa State.

Former Gophers star Bob Stein, who will be inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame on Dec. 7 in Las Vegas, next Saturday will be honored at Minnesota’s homecoming against Bowling Green.

Tickets for the game against Bowling Green were available for as little as $10 on

That was Jim Dutcher and his former Gophers basketball players Tommy Davis, Jim Petersen and Kelly Scott lunching at McCormick & Schmick’s in Edina last week.

Cretin grad Joe Gallagher, 57, who produced the highly successful opening and closing ceremonies of the 2016 Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National for NBC, on Tuesday was to make the 5-hour, 30-minute drive to Whistling Straits (Wis.) to work his ninth Ryder Cup next weekend. Gallagher took a St. Paul contingent of employees from his Doodle Productions company to assist in assorted capacities, including celebrity movement (Michael Jordan is expected to attend) and corporate parties.

Gallagher’s Ryder Cup schedule includes the 2023 competition in Rome.

“That one will mean it’s closer to my last Ryder Cup, in 2029, at Hazeltine,” said Gallagher, who worked his first Ryder Cup in 1995 at Oak Hill in Rochester, N.Y.

Kalen Anderson, who coached nationally ranked South Carolina to victory in the big Annika Intercollegiate women’s golf tournament at the Royal Club last week, is from Edina.

Hall of Fame former Twin Dave Winfield from St. Paul turns 70 on Oct. 3.

Hall of Fame former Twin Rod Carew, who turns 75 on Oct. 1, has begun a monthly newsletter.

Timberwolves coach Chris Finch is featured speaker at the Twin Cities Dunkers breakfast on Tuesday at the Minneapolis Club.

Will Steinke from Little Falls was the officiating umpire at host Michigan’s 47-14 victory over Western Michigan.

Family reunion: Those were three of the noted St. Paul Mauer brothersTom, Mark and Jim — officiating the Minneapolis South-Roosevelt football game last week. The trio, with other brothers Ken and Brian, worked a high school game at Hastings two years ago. Tom, 61, by the way, has decided to retire after 22 years as a WNBA official.

Mike Lauren, Mike Sullivan, Scott Sanderson, Jeff Sorem, Betsy Massopust, Corrine Buie, Steve Dove and Dick Gaughran will be inducted into the Edina Hall of Fame on Thursday at Interlachen Country Club.

Hill-Murray Athletic Hall of Fame electees for induction next Sunday at the school: Greg Langevin, Vince Conway, Rod Romanchuk, Paul Thurmes, Bethany Doolittle and Tessa Cichy.

Johnson High 2021 Football Hall of Fame electees for induction Oct. 2 at White Eagle Golf Club in Hudson, Wis.: Gary Ales, Jim Gabriel, Jeff Plaschko, Tommy Reynolds, Doug Van Meter and 1989 football team.

The 50th anniversary reunion of St. Thomas Academy’s 1971 state football champions will be Oct. 8 at the game against Mahtomedi at Gerry Brown Stadium.

Former Mahtomedi pitcher Michael Baumann, 25, made his major league debut for the Orioles in relief the other day and was credited with the 7-3 victory over the Royals. Baumann was drafted by the Twins in the 34th round in 2014, declined to sign, then was chosen by Baltimore in the third round three years later after pitching for Jacksonville University, receiving a $500,000 bonus.

Former Gopher Amir Coffey of the L.A. Clippers remains a restricted free agent.

Dedication of the David R. Metzen Scholarship Hall in honor of the former South St. Paul schools superintendent will be at South St. Paul High on Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m.

Don’t print that

With two more strikeouts entering Saturday’s game in Toronto, the Twins’ Miguel Sano will reach 1,000 for his seven major league seasons. This season, Sano has hit 29 home runs while fanning 163 times. He has 159 career homers.

Babe Ruth struck out just 1,330 times in 8,399 at-bats. Former Twins: Harmon Killebrew struck out 1,629 times in 8,147 at-bats during 22 seasons; Bob Allison 1,333 times in 5,032 at-bats in 13 seasons. Joe Mauer struck out 1,034 times in 6,930 at-bats in 15 years.

Chief baseball officer Derek Falvey, who has major challenges rebuilding the Twins, is getting mentioned among candidates to oversee the Mets baseball operations.

Probable destination for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers next season is Denver, which would upset Teddy Bridgewater, who connected on 28 of 36 passes — with two drops — in a 27-13 victory over the Giants in the season opener.

People who know say Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell is the clear favorite for the USC football coaching job, for which the Gophers’ P.J. Fleck has been mentioned.

The Twins are 15-58 at Yankee Stadium the last 20 seasons, equivalent to a 33-129 record over a 162-game season, Stanzel’s Sports Takeout mentions.

The Vikings have only one decent offensive lineman: Brian O’Neill.

Chatted with Hall of Fame former Bears linebacker Dick Butkus years ago while in New York to cover filming of those memorable Miller Lite TV commercials. Butkus asked where I was from. Told Minnesota, he asked if I knew Mick Tingelhoff, the Hall of Fame former Vikings center who died last week at age 81.

“After every game I played against Tingelhoff,” Butkus said, “my jersey had fingernail holes in it from him poking me.”

Season ticket courtside seats for University of St. Thomas men’s basketball, as the school goes from Division III to Division I this season, will cost $520, reserved seat backs $325, club level $260 and reserved bench seats $156. Last season, reserved back season ticket seats cost $50.

With its move to Division I, St. Thomas’ athletic budget increases from $6 million a year to $18 million annually, and will continue to grow. Meanwhile, St. Thomas the other day lost a top financial administrator and assistant.

This really happened last week: Former Wild captains Mikko Koivu and Wes Walz and former Wild player Eric Staal were golfing with sports marketing whiz Murray Rudisill at his North Oaks Country Club. Walz and Rudisill won $25 apiece from Koivu and Staal in a match.

Sitting outside afterward enjoying a beer, Koivu placed a $50 bill on the table and said he would cover Staal’s bet, too. Two minutes later, a big wind lifted the $50 bill off the table and up over the clubhouse roof.

Rudisill quickly informed enterprising club GM Phil Anderson, who rushed up to the roof through an inside staircase to search for the $50 bill, hoping to find it because the roof is flat. The bill wasn’t found.

For $10 million this season, Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons has 390 at-bats and 15 extra-base hits. That’s still better, though, than shortstop Jackie Hernandez’s five extra base hits in 199 at-bats for the 1968 Twins.

Pssst: Not long ago, the Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov told a prominent teammate he wouldn’t re-sign for a penny less than $10 million a year.

Third baseman Jose Miranda, 23, who would cost the Twins $138,454 per game less than the $141,975 they are paying Josh Danielson, 35, through 2023, has 27 home runs and 86 RBIs while hitting .339 this season between Triple-A St. Paul and Double-A Wichita.

Minnesota’s Mark Coyle, 52, with total compensation of $1.4 million (including retirement bonuses), is the 13th highest-paid athletics director in the country, according to new analysis by in conjunction with USA Today and Syracuse University. Coyle, whose contract ends on June 30, 2026, is the fifth-highest paid AD in the Big Ten behind Northwestern’s Jim Phillips ($2.3 million), Ohio State’s Gene Smith ($1.85 million), Penn State’s Sandy Barbour ($1.5 million) and Michigan’s Warde Manuel ($1.45 million).

The Vikings are now worth $3.2 billion, the 18th most valuable NFL franchise, according to Sportico. The Packers are 15th at $3.5 billion. The Vikings, and every other NFL team, are projected to receive $400 million in 2023 “before selling one ticket, beer or hot dog,” Sportico reports.

The Vikings are 26th in the 32-team NFL, the Packers 11th, in Axios Sports’ power rankings.

Former first-team Gophers All-Big Ten golfer Angus Flanagan has missed seven of eight cuts during his first season on the PGA’s Forme Tour.

For his tie for 22nd in the recent PGA Tour Championship, ex-Gopher Erik Van Rooyen received a check for $466,667.

There’s a bar in Hibbing (Minn.) named the “Homer Tavern” owned by relatives of former Yankees home run slugger Roger Maris, who was born in Hibbing, but the “Homer” title has nothing to do with Maris’ home run proclivity.

Several parking lots near the Gophers football stadium are charging $20 on game days.


Paul Holmgren, 65, the former Harding, Gopher, Saint and North Star who is senior adviser for the Philadelphia Flyers, on being announced last week that he’s been elected to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame: “I’ve known since June when I was back in St. Paul for a family reunion — they told me not to tell anybody — and it hasn’t sunk in even yet. It’s a tremendous honor.”

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Field hockey Notebook: Southeastern gets historic first win



Field hockey Notebook: Southeastern gets historic first win

It was a dream come true for Southeastern to get a club field hockey team up and running into a varsity program two years ago.

Now, under the constant positivity, encouragement and motivation from the two seniors who were on the Hawks when they were just a club team their freshman year, Southeastern has added to that dream — reaching the win column.

After a two-year winless stretch, the Hawks started its season on Sept. 8 with a 3-1 win over Brockton for the program’s first varsity win. It’s an iconic moment for any young program, and it was especially rewarding for senior co-captains Nilianna Gomes and Caleigh DeMartino.

“I think it was a really great experience for us, especially knowing that we started off as just a club,” said Gomes.

“I think it’s cool that we were kind of like the first two that was the first team at Southeastern for field hockey,” added DeMartino. “Just seeing everyone, how far they’ve come along.”

Of course, this wasn’t just any old program first.

If you ask the two of them if going winless their first two years was burdensome, they’re the special kind of competitors to say that it wasn’t. It’s not for a lack of caring, nor is it setting the bar low. Brand-new coach Morgan Richardson attests to the amount of work put in at practices. She also points out the impressive showing of leadership from Gomes and DeMartino to simply inspire growth.

That growth led to a win against Brockton. Brockton just so happens to be where most of the team is from — including Gomes. And it’s no secret how competitive sports are in that city.

“Beating Brockton High for our first game, I think it was pretty amazing,” Gomes said. “Sometimes, even though we’re not in the same division in all sports, sometimes there’s a competition between Brockton and Southeastern. And they’re a really good sports school, so for us to beat them was super exciting.”

To Richardson, Gomes and DeMartino are exactly the leaders a young program needs. Finding the fun in what you’re doing is just as important as the work put in. That, among other things, is what builds a program.

“Our leadership team has done a really amazing job with bringing the girls together,” Richardson said. “That’s what makes a team.”

That also led to what the Hawks hope to be just one of many iconic moments in their history.

Quick Spotlights

• It’s always dangerous when a perennial power is loaded with 15 senior returners, but King Philip is off to a hot start in the tough Hockomock League behind the early success of a few young scorers, too. Sophomore Mara Boldy already has a hat trick in the books, freshman Makenzie McDevitt scored in a big 2-0 win over Foxboro and added another against Taunton, and sophomore Kelly Holmes paced a 5-1 win over Stoughton with a pair of goals herself.

Head coach Lisa Cropper was a little unsure about how the start of the season would go after graduating her front line and losing her starting goalie to transfer just two days before the start of the year. But throw in a vaunted defense of seniors Lily Brown, Molly Piller, Haley Izydorczak, Morgan Cunningham and Jen Daniels in front of a promising but brand-new goalie in Haley Bright, and the Warriors have grinded their way to a 4-0 start.

“(The forwards) are a little young but they’re doing great so far,” Cropper said. “It’s very good so far. (But) we still have a lot of work to do.”

• It was a special week in Andover for All-Scholastic junior midfielder Emma Reilly, and not just because she picked up four assists despite only playing the first quarter of a 7-0 win over Dracut on Wednesday. Just two days before, the star player verbally committed to Columbia — her first choice.

“She is very excited,” said head coach Maureen Noone. “Good things happening to great kids.”

• Those who haven’t played field hockey wouldn’t realize the magnitude of a difference between playing on grass versus turf, but rest-assured — it’s not an easy change. Despite the end of a 15-year stretch of renting out a turf field suddenly ending for Pentucket, though, the Sachems have cruised to win both of their first two home games — on a grassy field — for a 3-1 start.

“We’re not focused on (the field change),” said longtime Pentucket head coach Ruth Beaton. “It has been an adjustment, but we are just making this our home away from home.”

• First-year Monomoy head coach Kathryn Andreoli adopted a team rich with senior talent, and her squad is rolling with flying colors. A 7-1 win over Martha’s Vineyard to open the season was followed on Thursday with a convincing 5-0 win over Plymouth North. It helps to have All-Scholastic senior Caroline DiGiovanni bury four goals in the big game against the Eagles, and Andreoli is confident in the group to keep this stretch rolling.

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