Connect with us


West St. Paul plans $2.1 million upgrade to Marthaler Park



West St. Paul plans $2.1 million upgrade to Marthaler Park

A planned overhaul to Marthaler Park in West St. Paul will feature a brand new design, with an improved sledding hill, modern bathrooms and new playground equipment.

The improvements will cost about $2.1 million, said Dave Schletty, the city’s assistant parks and recreation director. The work could begin in 2022 and be completed in 2024.

Improvements for Marthaler Park have been ongoing for some time, Schletty said. The city started working with WSB, a Minneapolis based design and consulting firm, in the mid-2010s, but was held up because the recent Robert Street development cost more than anticipated. Now the plan is to move ahead in three phrases.

“Instead of waiting three years where we could have full funding, we’d rather start,” Schletty said. “With the help of our consultant, we felt like it would be doable and fine to break it into phases.”

  • Phase 1: In 2022, demolish parking lots and put in new ones. The city may also put in a paved trail connecting a parking lot to the River-to-River Greenway Trail.
  • Phase 2: In 2023, improvements will be focused on the central portion, including the playground, picnic area and possibly the bathrooms.
  • Phase 3: In 2024, focus on pond cleanup and the park’s sledding hill.
Rendering for the Marthaler Park in West St. Paul with details on upgrades planned through 2024. (Rendering made by WSB. Courtesy of Dave Schletty)

The city has held public meetings and collected comment cards from residents. Officials have also been working with the Marthaler Park Neighborhood Group, an informal group formed after a shooting at the park to help take care of it.

Carol Keyes-Ferrer, a member of the Marthaler Park Neighborhood Group, said that she wants to see trash and security improve in the park. She looks forward to increased lighting in the park.

“I’m glad that they’re keeping the basketball court and keeping the tennis courts because we see those used a lot,” Keyes-Ferrer said.

Plans for Marthaler Park are not final. The parks department will have a table at the West St. Paul open house on Thursday and will take any questions and suggestions for Marthaler Park. The gathering is located at the city’s Municipal Center, which is across the street from the park.

Schletty encourages residents to contact the city and share ideas.

“I’ve been with the city 20 years, so about the time I started was when we were first talking about (Marthaler Park) improvements,” Schletty said. “To actually see it finally coming together, I’m really, really excited.”


West St. Paul will host a free Open House at its Municipal Center, 1616 Humboldt Ave. with live music, kids games, police and ire demonstrations, free food and more. The event will run from 4 to 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 23.

google news


Ask Amy: Neighbors not notified about a death on the street



Ask Amy: Woman should leave abusive relationship

Dear Amy: “Ben” and “Sally” were neighbors of ours for 38 years.

We are the oldest residents on the street; the remaining properties have changed ownership several times.

Ben and Sally were somewhat reclusive, however when we met while walking, we enjoyed one another.

I was never in their home, but I was invited to one of their daughters’ weddings. The two daughters are outgoing. When visiting their parents, we always enjoyed friendly banter with them.

This January, while at their winter home, Ben became ill and died.

Sally was brought home and placed in a care facility.

Hearing this from a resident at the end of the street stunned me.

Apparently, the daughters have been in and out of the family home, packing and sorting, and the other resident passed by and was asking what was going on, and the daughter answered with the sad news of her parents.

I am quite perplexed that the daughters have not called or sent a note telling me about their parents. In my opinion, it would be a respectful thing to do.

— Upset Neighbor

Dear Upset: I could easily cite several very understandable reasons why these two women have not reached out, including the fact that they may have forgotten your names and affiliation with their parents.

google news
Continue Reading


Rebounding against the Jets starts with flustering Zach Wilson one more time



Rebounding against the Jets starts with flustering Zach Wilson one more time

After surrendering the most total yards and passing yards to an opposing offense during Bill Belichick’s tenure to the Cowboys last week, the Patriots defense needs to get back on the horse and re-establish themselves.

Having Zach Wilson and the Jets offense next on the dance card should help. It’s just what the doctor ordered, even if the Patriots, who have beaten Gang Green in 11 straight games, won’t admit it.

During the Week 2 meeting against the Jets at MetLife Stadium, the Patriots had the rookie quarterback completely befuddled.

He completed just 9 of 33 passes for 210 yards, while throwing four picks in a 25-6 loss.

So while the Patriots didn’t fare quite as well against Dak Prescott and one of the top-ranked offenses in the NFL, they should be able to rebound.  Wilson and the Jets are averaging just 13.4 points per game, worst in the league.

Here’s how the Patriots can continue to frustrate Wilson and the Jets offense:

1. Stop chunk plays

Given Wilson’s elite arm talent and ability to throw on the fly, the Jets aren’t afraid to dial up some deep shots either using play action or rolling him out.

That’s part of the reason the Jets were able to upset the Titans in Week 4. Wilson was able to sling it downfield for several chunk plays. On one, he hooked up with Corey Davis for a 53-yard bomb for a touchdown in the overtime win.

To protect against Wilson’s deep ball, the Patriots are likely to employ a two-high safety look. Beyond that, they’ll stick J.C. Jackson on Davis (20 catches, 302 yards, three TDs).

Jackson did a good job on Davis the first meeting, and will likely draw the assignment to shut down Wilson’s favorite target once again. But he’ll also have safety help on occasion downfield.

During the Week 2 matchup, Wilson was overaggressive looking for the big play. He wound up with four interceptions, due in part to forcing the ball into areas with multiple defenders.

The Patriots will also try to keep him in the pocket, given how well he throws those missiles on the fly.

“He’s extremely accurate outside the pocket and on the run,” said Matthew Judon. “We got to make him play quarterback in a tight pocket. Have him beat us that way, instead of giving him open throwing lanes, and lanes to escape the pocket.”

2.  Revive pass rush

The Patriots didn’t sack Prescott last week, hitting him just four times in 51 dropbacks. Needless to say, Prescott had plenty of time to throw. That has to improve against Wilson.

As it is, the Jets rookie quarterback has been sacked 18 times, which is just behind Ryan Tannehill (20).

Their offensive line, with left tackle Mekhi Becton out with a dislocated kneecap, has improved since Week 2, but still can be exploited.

And because of that, Wilson has been erratic. He’s only completed 57.3% of his throws for 1,117 yards, with four touchdowns and nine interceptions.

Applying pressure goes hand-in-hand with keeping Wilson in the pocket. The Patriots took him down four times in the first meeting. So it’s time to dial up the pressure again.

3. Be sure tacklers

The Jets have the second-worst rushing offense in the NFL, averaging just 74 yards per game, and 3.6 yards per carry.

So what’s the fuss about tackling?

The Patriots didn’t do a very good job of that in the first meeting.

While they gave Wilson fits, they weren’t as good bringing his backs down. Michael Carter (5.4 yards per carry), Ty Johnson (4.2 yards per carry) and Tevin Coleman (4.8 yards per carry) provided the lone spark.

The Patriots would be wise to do a better job keeping the backs at bay. Naturally, Belichick pumped up the unit, likely based on what happened in the past.

“They’ve got good speed back there and break a lot of tackles,” said Belichick. “We had trouble tackling those guys in the first game, so that’s something that’ll be a challenge for us. These guys break tackles against everybody. It’s a good group … an explosive group of backs as well.”

Linebacker Kyle Van Noy echoed Belichick’s remarks, saying: “They had some yards on us last time. We need to rally to the ball, get more hats to the ball.”

google news
Continue Reading


Despite ALCS loss, Red Sox express positive attitude: ‘We proved a lot of people wrong’



Despite ALCS loss, Red Sox express positive attitude: ‘We proved a lot of people wrong’

HOUSTON — Once they got through the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series, it would’ve been hard to consider the 2021 Red Sox as anything but a success.

Sure, expectations change. And to look back at preseason projections and consider anything better than a fourth-place finish a success would’ve overlooked how well they played for three months early in the season.

And after they blew a lead in the A.L. East and had to scratch their way into a Wild Card Game, it felt like they needed to at least get through the Yankees and Rays in the postseason to make up for blowing the division.

Check, and check.

The Houston Astros were a stronger opponent that matched up better. And while the Sox’ exciting season came crashing down in a 5-0 loss in Game 6 as they were eliminated from the A.L. Championship Series, the feeling outside the Red Sox clubhouse was largely positive.

“I mean, it’s really tough, obviously,” said Kiké Hernandez, who signed a two-year, $14-million deal to play for Alex Cora. “Going home is never easy. I felt like once we got to this point, the goal was to win the World Series. We thought we were going to be able to do it. Obviously we came up short.

“But this was a hell of a ride for us this year. First day of spring training you come into this new team. The expectations from everybody outside our clubhouse was just, second-to-last place in our division. We didn’t agree with anybody who was saying that. We believed in ourselves. We got to this point, man, we were two wins away from going to the World Series. We didn’t accomplish what we wanted to but we did some special things. And the Red Sox are going to be a problem for a long time.”

Kyle Schwarber had a different perspective, coming over from the Washington Nationals via trade on July 29.

“Obviously, it’s disappointing,” he said. “At the end of the day, we’re all competitors, and we all want to make it to the end goal. The end goal is the World Series and winning it.”

Schwarber watched the Sox lose their division lead in late July and the Rays effectively won the division in August.

“I got to watch for pretty much two weeks,” he said. “It was, like, we went on that road trip, 10-gamer, and went 2-8. And I was just, like, ‘you know what, this team is grinding. They’re not quitting in any of these games. This is what it takes to win in the postseason.’

“We fought, scratched, clawed to get our way into the playoffs, and then we went in the Wild Card. We played unbelievable going into the Division Series. Played unbelievable too. I thought we grinded our butts off through this series. It just didn’t work out, but I think that the group should be very proud of themselves.”

Before answering questions from reporters after the Sox’ loss, Cora took a moment to give credit to the Astros, who he called a great organization who deserved to be going to the World Series.

As for his own team, Cora said he spoke to them after the game.

“I told them how proud I am,” he said. “It’s an amazing group. It’s a group that we will always remember. In the offseason trying to recruit players and trying to buy into the concept that we were going to be good, it was hard. But at the end of the day, we did an amazing job to have that meeting. Not too many teams can say that they’re in the League Championship Series, and I know it doesn’t sound great, to have that meeting it means something, right?

“And we did an amazing job throughout the season. We just got beat at the end, but when we look back and everything that we went through, the thoughts of this team early in the season, it’s just amazing. It was a great year.”

It’s a rare thing in Boston to have a Red Sox team lose in the postseason but still feel good about themselves.

But after firing Dave Dombrowski and replacing him with Chaim Bloom in 2019, trading Mookie Betts and watching Chris Sale undergo Tommy John surgery in 2020 and firing and rehiring Cora to take charge in 2021, bouncing back from a last-place finish in 2020 to come within two games of the World Series feels like a success.

“I think we’re definitely disappointed right now,” said Nathan Eovaldi, the most valuable pitcher in the A.L. this year, according to Fan Graphs. “We obviously wanted to win this game and win the series and go to the World Series. No one expected us to be here. We proved a lot of people wrong.

“We believed in ourselves as a team. We were able to overcome a lot of obstacles together and get to this point.”

google news
Continue Reading