Things to do around St. Paul during summer

Summer is the time to go outside, go on the lake, soak in the sun, or just hang out with friends. Summers in Saint Paul seem endless; there’s just so much that is offered to do in Saint Paul, and around the state of Minnesota.

Throughout the Twin Cities the activities vary from fairs and festivals, to great dining, or even outside music; Saint Paul has it all. Here are just some of the options that are available for you to enjoy this summer.

First, dine outside. Most restaurants or cafes have an option to sit outside, in MN you really have to spend as much time in the sun as possible, since it is very limited.

Next you can go to a zoo, Minnesota Zoo or Como Zoo, or you can take time to enjoy the arts at such places as the Walker Art Center, or you can even go to a museum (Children’s Museum or Science Museum).

You could also go spend time on the river or lake. In Saint Paul, and all throughout Minnesota, you can find any water activity you think of. You could go take a cruise down the river on the Padelford riverboats at Harriet Island, or you could just go find a lake and spend some time on the beach. Most parks with a lake will offer a beach with a swimming area and an option to rent kayaks, canoes, and/or paddle boards.

Throughout the rest of Minnesota there are many key points of interests that include:

  • Mall of America: A huge shopping complex with a indoor amusement park
  • Como Zoo: Zoo, gardens, and an amusement park
  • Sea life at the Mall of America: Oceanic exhibits an play areas
  • Minnesota History Center: Interactive exhibits, artifacts, and shows
  • Science Museum: Educational and interactive exhibits
  • Mill City Museum: A look at the flour industry
  • Valleyfair: An amusement park with coasters and kiddie rides
  • Walker Art Center: Contemporary art museum
  • Minnehaha Park: Bike rentals, hiking, and waterfall
  • Cathedral of Saint Paul: Revered beaux art landmark from 1915
  • Minnesota State Capitol: Minnesota’s history
  • James J. Hill House: Former railway magnate
  • Ordway Center for Performing Arts: Concerts and theater  
  • Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox: Monument
  • Gooseberry Falls: Waterfall, camping, and hiking/biking trails
  • Split Rock Lighthouse: Historic lighthouse and cliffs
  • First Avenue- Music venues
  • Regional parks- Beaches, trails, activities, rentals, and camping

Agriculture Day 2017

On May 12th, the Highland Park Senior High School Future For Agriculture (FFA) hosted their annual Ag Day. In the past, Ag Day has had many different types of farm animals, colleges in the Midwest, local farmers, and agriculture games and activities. Many of these activities are fun, educational, and rewarding for students and teachers. Every year, Highland has hosted other schools, and allowed for them to come up and visit Ag Day. Students from the elementary school, just down the road, came, as well as students from our middle school. 

This year, Ag Day had multiple types of animals roaming around including: shetland ponies, chickens, fish, many kinds of dogs, chicks, and a goat. The pony, goat, dogs, and fish were all able to be touched and played with.

At one booth, they had a pool of fish where kids could come up and see how many they could pick up. Besides being able to pick up the fish, the two students who ran the fish stand had trivia questions about Minnesota fish. 

The students who brought dogs just walked around with their dog and allowed students to come up and play with them. All of the animal booths not only let you play with the animals, but they were also very educational. They all had posters talking about environmental considerations, temperament, and food requirements. They also had trivia games where students could win candy or other prizes.

Other activities that Ag Day had were: face painting, stacking hay barrels, planting seeds, making flowers, and ice cream. The ice cream stand was by far the most popular; it had a long line all day, at one point they even ran out of ice cream. At the ice cream stand they would ask trivia questions, and in exchange you would get ice cream. The questions at this stand ranged from stuff about dairy, soy milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt, all the way to what dairy is and where it comes from. 

Besides all the fun with animals for the little kids, Ag Day had a wide variety of colleges there. The colleges that attended Ag Day were: the University of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota: Crookston, and the University of Wisconsin: River Falls. The colleges were a chance for upperclassmen, and maybe even lowerclassmen, to learn about how they can make a difference in agriculture. The colleges explained different fields of study that revolved around agriculture, and they talked about their campuses, and tried to get your attention to go to their school. It was kind of like a mini college fair.

In the end, Ag Day was very successful, and stayed busy all day long.

Highland softball is the conference champions

On Monday, May 8th, Highland Park varsity softball played in the conference championship game against Como High School to become the 2017 conference champs. Como High School has had a very good season, going 12-3 overall and 7-1 in conference. Como’s great season primarily came from senior pitcher, Kathryn Proper, who had 12 strikeouts against Highland that night.

Highland has had a great season going 10-5 overall and 7-1 in conference. Highland has a well balanced team with lots of fresh, and new talent. For Highland, we have returning pitcher, Jenna Cook (11), shortstop, Chloe Smith (10), third baseman, Bella Ciccarelli (10), and the captains, center fielder, Majeur Tucker (10), and catcher, Hanna Zavoral (12). The rest of the team is filled with excellent incoming freshman that are flexible and can play all positions, as well as many first year juniors that have made a great addition to Highland’s team.

During the Como vs. Highland season series, earlier in the season Como beat Highland 1-0, with the one run coming late in the game. But the second time around, in the more important game, Highland pulled through and took the win, 4-3.

The night was very exciting for both teams, as Como started the night off with hot bats but quickly cooled down as Highland began rallying. Cook had a double in the fourth inning to hit Molly Crandall (11) in making it 1-1.

Then in the 6th, Crandall had an inside the park homerun, bringing herself and Zavoral home, putting Highland up 3-2.

At the top of 7th Highland allowed Como to score 1, making it 3-3. Bottom of 7th Highland had two outs with a runner on second, and Cook up to bat. Cook ended the game with what should have been a sac infield fly, but due to miscommunication on Como’s side, the shortstop and 2nd basemen collided, dropping the ball, allowing Zavoral to score.

The game ended with Highland up 4-3.   

This will be Highland’s 3rd consecutive year winning conference champs. Coming up,  Highland plays Minneapolis South for the Twin Cities Meet on Friday, May 19th, at the U of M field. The Twin Cities Meet is where the two conference champs of Minneapolis and St. Paul play each other. After the Twin Cities Meet, Highland will play in sections, which is still undecided as to who, and when, they will play.

The Timberwolves new logo

The Timberwolves, Minnesota’s professional basketball team, unveiled their new logo for the 2017-2018 season. This change came on April 11, 2017, during halftime of their final home game of the season against Oklahoma City.

The logo change is to stand for the new era that is coming; the Timberwolves franchise is trying to move in a new direction. “I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this new era of Timberwolves basketball than with the unveiling of our new logo, in front of our dedicated fans, on Fan Appreciation Night,” said Timberwolves CEO Ethan Casson. The CEO later went on to say how the new logo is the way to a new exciting path.

The logo is only the first surrounding their new face. With new leaders on and off of the court, the Timberwolves are planning on revealing new uniforms this summer along with a remodel of the Target Center. The remodel is going to add new seats, more space, and a new court design.

The logo was in the process of being created for 12 months. It was designed by the Timberwolves ownership, team executives, the NBA, and design expert Rodney Richardson of RARE Design. The new logo is a combination of past logos. It includes some of the same colors but with a new refreshed hue of the blue and green. The new colors include midnight blue, aurora green, lake blue, moonlight grey, and frost white. The logo also still includes a wolf, but this time it is howling. Wolves use their howl to warn others; it shows their fierce side. Wolves also use the howl to reconnect and bond as a family. The new logo is a perfect new face to the up and coming season for the Wolves.

Here is the evolution of the timberwolves logos:

1989/90-1995/96

1996/97-2007/08

2008/09-2016/17

2017/18- present

 

American Red Cross blood drive

The American Red Cross (ARC) is an organization which focuses on providing emergency and disaster relief to families. The ARC has services in 4 different areas: comfort and communication for military service and their families, collecting blood donations, educational programs, and international relief programs.

One of the most well known, and highly needed services, the Red Cross offers, is the process of collecting blood. According to the ARC, about every two seconds someone in the US needs blood, and the most needed type of blood is O negative. O negative is important because if there is no time to test for a person’s blood type, O negative will work with any blood. Many cancer patients will need a blood transfusion frequently – sometimes every day. The average blood transfusion is 3 pints, and every donor will give about 1 pint of blood, but the average car accident victim can use up to 100 pints of blood.  

The process of donating blood is a very safe process. The nurse drawing blood uses a sterile needle, which is only used once, then discarded. Blood donation has four steps to it.

  • The first step is registration
  • The second step includes having the doctors/nurses get a medical history and do a mini physical
  • Third, you donate
  • Fourth, afterwards you receive refreshments

The actual time it takes someone to donate their blood is 10-12 minutes, but the whole process can take up to an 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Highland Park Senior High hosted the Red Cross on March 17th. Highland had 50 people show up – giving a total of 41 pints. Many of the students at Highland were very anxious and scared. One student, Michaela Malone (11) said, “I’m very nervous to give blood because I’m afraid of needles.” Later she said, “I’m scared that I will faint, but I’m excited that I will be helping a person in need.”

As I talked to other students the word was the same, Lane Fry (11) mentioned, “I feel like I’m gonna die. I wanted to donate my blood because it’s St. Patrick’s Day, and I thought many people might need blood tonight. I also just wanted to do something good for myself.”

Many of Highland’s students also volunteered to help run the event. Highland students did most of the stuff that kept things running smoothly so the nurses could focus on collecting blood. I asked Jilly Wortman (11) what she did to help out. Jilly replied with, “I signed people in, gave information to donors, supplied water for people, and I also comforted people while they were donating blood.”

Will Pribula (12) was donating not only for the good of other people but for himself. As I asked him how he was feeling before the donation he said, “I’m really bored and kind of wanna get this over with. It’s not what I thought. I imagined that I would come donate blood and leave but instead I’ve been sitting for an hour, getting bored and the music selection is poor, but at least I’m getting out of class.” His reactions after we’re surprisingly different as he said, “It was very relaxing and I feel great about donating today.”

Neesha Moore (11) felt the same after the donation process as she told me “It was a blast! I encourage everyone to do it. It was a weird feeling of happiness, dizziness, and relaxation. I feel like I should be giggling, but that’s probably due to the amount of blood loss.”

The 89th Oscar’s

The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, is a group of twenty-four artistic honors given each year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), to award excellence in cinematic achievements chosen by votes (as stated on oscars.org). The awards started in 1930, during which it was broadcasted on the radio until 1953 when it first was shown on TV. The Oscars are shown in over 200 countries, and it has served as a model for many other television awards such as: the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theater, and the Grammy Awards for music and recording.

This year is the Oscars 89th awards ceremony, and every year they give out awards to Best Picture, Actor/Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress, Animated Feature, Cinematography, Costume Design, Direction, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Film Editing, Foreign Language Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, and total score. This year, winners of the Oscars included many movies such as La La Land, Moonlight, Suicide Squad, and Zootopia.  

There was one thing a little different this year about the Oscars. If you were watching when this event occurred, you might have had a little déjà vu or shock. An award was announced for the wrong person, similar to what happened to Steve Harvey, back in 2015, when he announced the wrong winner for Miss America. Harvey announced Miss Colombia as the winner, when in actuality it was Miss Philippines. He took this opportunity to get a little redemption for all the hate he got that followed his mistake.

What exactly happened at the Oscars? No one is truly sure what happened, but all we know is that the announcers, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, didn’t catch a mistake that was written on the envelope twice, saying “Award for best leading actress” before reading the winner’s name. They announced the name for the wrong Best Picture winner.

Many celebs said that it was a hard way to  find out that you lost, and to find out that you won. No one could fully celebrate as much as they wanted to. People were very happy for the Moonlight cast, but felt sad for the La La Land cast as they were first called up to accept the award they didn’t win.

Even though Faye Dunaway announced the wrong winners, Warren Beatty, her co-host, gave her the wrong envelope. Many people call this a half-Steve Harvey, then a full-Steve Harvey, because they were given the wrong envelope, and did not just read it wrong.

The show later went on to Jimmy Kimmel, who foreshadowed his next stunt at the Grammy’s. Kimmel brought in a bus full of tourists, and walked them through the entire awards ceremony. The tourists, dressed in sweatshirts and other casual clothes, were as surprised as the rest of us. He warned the crowd before the tourists entered, and joked with each one as they passed him. Every tourist got to shake famous peoples’ hands, and one even asked Denzel Washington marry them.

As many would say, this year’s Oscars were filled with many ups and downs, and many laughs. The final winners for each category were:

Best Picture: Moonlight

Actor: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea 

Actress: Emma Stone, La La Land

Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight  

Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, Fences

Animated Feature: Zootopia 

Cinematography: La La Land

Costume Design: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Direction: Damien Chazelle, La la Land

Documentary Feature: O.J: Made in America  

Documentary Short: The White Helmets

Film Editing: Hacksaw Ridge

Foreign Language Film: The Salesman 

Makeup and Hairstyling: Suicide Squad

Score: La la Land

9 American things that wouldn’t be American without immigrants

A lot of people may not know that many of the symbols that represent America, from architecture to food, actually come from immigrants and other cultures. Immigration has provided America an upper hand in economics, and they have brought many of our “all-American” items to us. Have you ever thought what your life would be like without many of the innovations immigrants have brought to us? The following is just a short list of the contributions immigrants have made to American culture.

Blue jeans

Blue jeans were invented in 1871 by Jacob Davis, a Latvian-Jewish tailor who emigrated to America in 1854, and Levi Strauss, who emigrated from Germany. They received a patent in 1873 for blue jeans, and later went on to create Levi’s jeans.  

Hamburgers

Contrary to popular belief, hamburgers were created by a Danish man: Louis Lassen. Hamburgers are commonly associated with America, and American fast food, and he created the first hamburger in 1895, in New Haven, Connecticut, and sold them out of a small lunch wagon.

Doughnuts

The first doughnut came to America in 1920, when Adolph Levitt, a Russian refugee, began to sell doughnuts from his bakery. Doughnuts began to boom in 1938 when the Salvation Army needed money during the Great Depression.  

Google

The founder of Google, Sergey Brin, was born in the Soviet Union (Moscow, Russia) in 1973. He later moved to the United States, and became a computer scientist where he created the wonderful search engine we use on a daily basis.

Hot dogs

Hot dogs, another food commonly associated with America, is actually from Germany. Charles Feltman moved from Germany, to New York, at the age of 15, and opened a restaurant that sold sausages in a roll.

Basketball

Modern basketball was created in 1891 by James Naismith, a Canadian. He invented basketball while teaching physical education. He came up with the game by having students shoot fruits into baskets that were hung onto the balcony at the school.  

Ketchup

The J. Heinz company, known best for their ketchup, is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was founded by Henry John Heinz, whose parents were German immigrants from Bavaria. They came to the United States in the early 1840s.

Cars

Even though cars are a global form of transportation, without Carl Benz, a German engineer, the first car would never have been made, or brought to America. Carl Benz also prompted Henry Ford to create an all-American car company that would be affordable to the middle class.

“God Bless America” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” songs

A Siberian immigrant, Irving Berlin, wrote “God Bless America” at a summer camp in 1918. “The Star-Spangled Banner” was written by John Stafford Smith, a British composer. He wrote the song following the war of 1812 and it was adopted as the U.S. national anthem in 1931.