The renovation of Rosedale Mall

Rosedale Mall is in a 2 year process of being renovated and will be officially completed sometime next year. According to the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, the Rosedale project will bring a new anchor tenant and 10 to 12 smaller retailers to the fleet of roughly 140 stores that lease space at Rosedale. High end fashion will be added to already existing stores such as JC Penney, Macy’s, and Herberger’s. The department stores will fill up the 150,000-square-foot, two story addition being built onto the shopping center.

The renovation will also update the mall’s interior by adding more comfortable spaces for shoppers to relax. New charging stations will be included for checking emails and charging cellphones and other devices.

The mall will be open during the construction, and much of the work will take place at night. Construction of the addition will start next year, in 2018, and the parking deck will hopefully be completed by November. The interior of the mall will bring 11 new stores, filling 21,000 square feet by Thanksgiving of 2018.

Streetcars

Back in the early 1900s to 1950s there wasn’t uber or Lyft, instead there was this popular transportation called: streetcars. Yes, that lovely mode of transportation cost only a nickel to ride and it, and it would take you all around St. Paul and Minneapolis. The streetcars date back to 1867, when rails were built in downtown Minneapolis. During the beginning, horses used to drive the streetcars, but that cost the Twin City Rapid Transit (TCRT) a lot of money (because they had to feed the horses). Later they decided to run the streetcars with electricity, which cost less, and was eco friendly, but people had concerns and questioned the streetcars. People feared that the electro cables would attract lightning if there was a thunderstorm.

City buses and automobiles are what took the streetcars out of business. Buses took the place of the streetcars, because streetcars charged more money for each fare, so more money would be made. And automobiles became popular, so people started buying them, and stopped riding the streetcars.

For a lot of years though, the streetcars were great for people who didn’t own any cars; they could get to work, school, library, movies, or anywhere the streetcar went. The company of the streetcars made 2.5 billion dollars in just 5 years, but there were some cons with the streetcars. They didn’t run really fast, and got caught up in traffic.

In St. Paul, they were thinking about bring streetcars back, and putting them right by the airport, by 7th street. This would be really convenient for people who don’t want to rely on somebody else taking them to the airport.

Overall, the streetcars were a success for the many long years they were running. If they ever brought back the streetcars (hopefully), we want every one of you reading this article to ride one.

Melvin Carter

Melvin Carter profile by Riley Lumpkin and Gabe Mattick.

Thirty-eight year old Melvin Carter, was elected mayor of St. Paul on November 7, 2017. Carter is the first African-American mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota. He will be succeeding Chris Coleman, who has been mayor since 2006. Melvin Carter has been endorsed by various notable Minnesota politicians like Governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota Senator Al Franken. Mark Dayton, endorsed Carter, according to Twin Cities Pioneer Press by saying, “As the Director of my Children’s Cabinet, Melvin Carter has been a thoughtful, passionate, and effective leader, who has worked hard to give kids strong starts and better chances of success in school and life,” Dayton is quoted as saying. “As a resident of St. Paul, I know Melvin Carter will bring that same leadership to his work to make St. Paul a city that works for everyone,” the DFL governor said. “I look forward to calling him St. Paul’s next mayor.”

He was a member of the Saint Paul City Council from 2008 to 2013. Before he was elected mayor he accomplished many things as a city councilmember. He cofounded the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, he also helped pass the Ban the Box legislation; to eliminate employment discrimination according to Melvin Carter.org.

He currently serves as an Executive Director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, where he advocates for all children to have an education regardless of their background, race, gender, or income. According to Jessie Van Berkel, Melvin Carter said, “his goal is to address not just pain, but lingering injustice.”

As the new mayor, he would like to raise wages to ensure the economy is improving for everyone. He also would like to make sure community services are doing more to help families, and he wants to work on community-first policing.

For more information, please go to: http://www.startribune.com/st-paul-mayoral-candidate-melvin-carter-focuses-on-the-city-s-future/449084463/http://www.melvincarter.org/bio/

Should school start later? High school students weigh in

The St. Paul Public School district is planning a controversial vote on November 15 to change school start times for most high school students from 7:30 AM to 8:30 AM, for the 2018-2019 school year, according to the Pioneer Press. Changing school start times for the district has been discussed for years and the vote has been pushed back several times.

The SPPS district supporters of later start times for high school students cite studies that claim later sleep patterns, prevalent among high school students, have a biological basis. This results in 69% of high school students not getting 8 hours of sleep a night, when they should be getting at least 9. They contend also that later school start times do not affect when high school students fall asleep (according to the SPPS website page on the topic). Also on their website, they claim that an 8:30 AM start time is better academically, causing more students to score “proficient” on MCA math tests.

Those against later start times explain that implementing them will be costly and ineffective. According to the Pioneer Press, adding the necessary additional bus routes will cost the district at least 2 million dollars per year, and Metro Transit cannot afford to help without money from the state. They also protest that high school students will get home too late, especially if they are enrolled in extracurricular activities. The district admits that if school start times are changed, high school students who take care of siblings in elementary school may be unable to, as most elementary school start times would move from 8:30 AM to 7:30 AM, causing their school days to end earlier than high school students’.

But, how do high school students feel about later start times? Their opinions are often overlooked in this discussion. Below are interviews of four 9th grade students who gave their opinions on the topic.

Miranda Bade

I want the start times to stay the same. I’m involved in sports after school and it is nice to get home early. If the start times change to 8:30 AM I would get home later. This makes it hard to do go to practice and get all of my homework done. Getting off of school earlier makes it so I have more time after school to do things and to get stuff done.

Peter McHie

Personally, I think it would be a great decision to change the start times to 8:30 AM. I, for one have a difficult time waking up so early, and because of this I feel like it might be impacting my performance at school, even if it’s only a little. Also, my general demeanor/attitude towards school in general is infuenced by the early start time as I often feel very sad/angry in the mornings. I’m sure that having extra time to sleep would change that. Other students probably feel the same as I do.

Celia Morris

I don’t want start times to change because of after school activities. I play volleyball in the fall and track in the spring. If start time was to go later I would come home from my sports at 5:30 PM and on game nights I might get home as late as 10:30-11:00 PM, with lots of homework left to do. This might leave me to going to bed around 1 AM or 2 AM.

Ryder Hefferan

I would vote against changing the time, because I personally feel comfortable with waking up that early to go to school and I love having as much free time as I do after school. But, I do understand that some people would sacrifice free time for more hours of sleep.

Minnesota ACT scores

By: Pachia Lee, Eddie Lopez, Melissa Tapia

Minnesota ACT scores are considered one of the nation’s best and had beat the national average many times. Last year though, there was a dropped in the ACT Scores, but Minnesota’s average was still higher than the national average. This year, the ACT scores have increased again after last year’s decline.

According to CBS Minnesota, Minnesota’s class of 2017 ACT scores rebounded from their dip in 2016, and remain among America’s best. Minnesota students had an average score of 21.5 on the exam while the national average was 21. Minnesota was also one of the 17 states to have all 100% of the graduating class take the ACT. Supporters of this requirement said this would bring more opportunities for all students because all students had a chance to take the ACT.

More than 17,000 Minnesota students took the ACT, especially an increased number of minority students. The Hispanic subgroup had the greatest increase with 1,709 students taking the ACT and there was also an overall increase of minority group ACT Scores by 0.5 points.

According to MN Office of Higher Education, Minnesota’s average score was still higher than the national average even with the drop. Also, 31% of 2017 graduates met all four ACT college-ready areas compared to in 2016 where only 29% were proficient in all four areas.

Graduates who had taken three or more years of math had an average score of 22.2 compared to others who took math for less than two years. Those students had an average score of 17.1. About 45% of graduates indicated that they were interested in STEM majors or careers. In 2017, 79 Minnesota students achieved a perfect ACT score meaning they scored 36 overall in four subject areas.

Grand Old Days

If you didn’t go to Grand Old Days this year in St. Paul, you missed out. The festival this year was held on Saturday, June 4th, and it lasted all day long. Grand Old Days is a fun filled exciting day that runs up and down Grand Ave all day. The day is full of fun activities like bouncy houses, slides, and fun little mini games like bags or home run derby.

There is also a lot of different kinds of foods available. The food is served via food stands and is cooked right in front of you, so it is always new and fresh. The foods they serve include all your typical festival foods like corn dogs, hamburgers, and hot dogs, but there are also some different foods that in my opinion taste better. The options don’t stop at food though, and there are many drinks like Jamba Juice, lemonade, soda, and this year I even saw drinks served in whole coconuts.

Grand Old Days is a place to go if you want to go and have a good time with your friends and family or by yourself.

Once you have eaten and walked around, and enjoyed what there is to see, you can have a little rest and wait for the parade. The parade is a fantastic parade that includes small and big businesses and organizations, shops on Grand, and of course candy. The parade is never disappointing and always very interesting to see what floats they make to use in the parade. This year there was a wide variety of floats in the parade ranging from small flashy and colorful floats to huge floats packed to the brim with people throwing out candy.

Grand Old Days, as an overall activity, is a great family friendly fun event where you enjoy every second that you are there. I know that I had fun at Grand Old Days and I’m confident that if I asked people that went they would say the same.

Another thing that is very cool at Grand Old Days is the amount of local businesses that have been given space and booths at the event. Many events now are just overrun by big companies and businesses, but at Grand Old Days, and in most of St. Paul, they encourage and support small businesses and local stores or companies.

On the Grand Old Days webpage, they have a whole section devoted to local businesses, and at the event they have two whole blocks set aside for local businesses. I think that this is a very cool thing that they are doing because, like I said before, most events are overrun by big companies and businesses, but I feel that new ideas do need to be expressed and I’ve found that most small and local businesses have very unique and new ideas. Now this isn’t to say that every small business does, but it is more common. This is why I enjoy Grand Old Days as much as I do, because they give everyone a chance to express themselves and share what they have to offer.

YA! program at CLUES

Throughout the Twin Cities, there are many programs (within and outside of school) to help students prepare for their future/college.

CLUES (Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio) has The Youth in Action! (YA!) program in St. Paul, and for the first time, the program will also be running a CLUES in Minneapolis!

The YA! program is dedicated to help Latino students feel more empowered to become future leaders. Every student in the program is matched with a mentor to support and motivate them. Student and mentor pairs get to know each other during the YA! Institutes, and on an individual basis to help them with whatever they need. YA! Institutes are held every second Saturday of each month, through September and June.

photo courtesy of Tanya Tzwald

Along with mentors, students are given many amazing opportunities to volunteer at places like Feed My Starving Children and Toys for Tots.

Students are also given the opportunity to develop their leadership skills by planning civic engagement activities. Civic engagement activities are focused on topics like problem solving for the community, formation/changing of laws, local and national governing bodies, and bettering our communities.

I have been in the YA! program since 2015 (my sophomore year), and I wish I had joined sooner. Since joining, I have definitely seen my leadership skills grow. I have had the opportunity to help/run a civic engagement activity, and volunteer at not only the places I mentioned, but I also became a Play Team member at the Minnesota Children’s Museum.

Applications are out! If you know someone that will be in 9th grade next year, encourage them to apply! Or if you have further questions, please contact Tanya Zwald at tzwald@clues.org or call (651) 379-4235!

More info – http://www.clues.org/wp_english/portfolio/youth-engagement-enrichment/

St. Olaf: Racist note was a “hoax”

On April 29, 2017, a racist note saying, “I am so glad you are leaving soon. One less [N-word] this school has to deal with. You have spoken up too much. You will change nothing. Shut up or I will shut you up,” was found on Samantha Well’s car, a black student at St. Olaf college in Northfield, MN.  

The tight knit community, at the small private liberal arts college, initiated a campus wide rally that was streamed live via Facebook that day. The stream featured a variety of visibly shook-up, and very distraught students. The rally turned into a sit in, and classes were cancelled for the following two days, as most of the St. Olaf students spent the day supporting their peers who had been affected by the incident.

Student organizers demanded extensive campus changes regarding the way the

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Image from foxnews.com

administration responds to, and investigates incidents like this one. Precious Ismail, a spokeswoman for the campus group, the Coalition for Change on the Hill, told the Star Tribune, “Our movement wasn’t about one individual, our movement was about a pattern of institutional racism.”

On Wednesday, May 10, it was announced by the President of St. Olaf, David R Anderson, that the note was a “hoax,” and that a St. Olaf student was responsible for authoring the note. Anderson added, “federal privacy laws prohibit the college from disclosing the identity of the author of that note and disclosing the actions taken by the college now that we know the author’s identity.” In a message to the students, Anderson wrote that the note was “fabricated” and was a “strategy to draw attention to concerns about the campus climate.”

The Northfield police told the Star Tribune that the case has been closed as of Wednesday due to the fact that Wells decided not to file a report, as she is leaving soon and would rather spend her last few weeks at college enjoying herself, than to be preoccupied with a case.

Anderson told the Star Tribune that the campus will continue to investigate similar reported incidents.

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Image from star tribune.com

Nerf wars

Nerf wars is an annual event for Highland Park students taking place after spring break. Students who wished to participate had to create a team of 5 and each team member was required to pay a fee of $5 to play.

The competition, this year,  began with 21 teams, and now is in the second round with 16 remaining. Any student was able to participate as long as they paid the fee and had a team of members. The teams were then seeded by grade, number of drivers on the team, previous experience, and if they played any sports.

A team with multiple drivers, and previous experience, is at a much higher advantage than the other teams, but this year’s Nerf wars, in the community, has changed a little. Most parents are not allowing their sons or daughters participate due to the serious risks that come along with the game.

On December 4th, 2015, two Lakeville South students, who were participating in a Nerf wars game, were killed in a car accident. Jacob Flynn, 17, and John Price, 18, were the two students who were killed. Mason Kohlbeck, 18, and Alexander Hughes, 17, were among the ones injured in the car accident. Hughes was driving the pickup truck when it crossed over the center line and flipped multiple times before it stopped.

Due to this tragic event, regarding the Lakeville South students, Ramsey County Attorney, John Choi, sent out an email to many administrators and parents of students participating in Nerf wars this spring. The email brought to attention the potential dangers of the game for the students who chose to play. Choi met, and talked, with parents of different schools, “I learned a lot about what is happening and am concerned that some of these activities are not only dangerous, but also illegal, and could result in serious injuries and/or prosecution.”

In his email, he stated what parents have said about how many different students that have partaken in the game “Have used cars to block other teens; jumped on top of moving vehicles; slashed tires; gotten into car accidents; crawled into homes, garages and/or on roofs without the homeowner’s permission, often in the dark and in violation of curfew laws.” With that being said many of the schools’ administrations are encouraging students not to play.

School administrations aren’t the only ones who are concerned; many parents won’t let their sons or daughters play, which has lowered the number of teams playing. In the past there have been around 34 teams and this year their was only 21 teams.

New superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools

In the end, there were two candidates for superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools, after one of the final three candidates withdrew himself from consideration.

Undated courtesy photo, circa March 2017, of the three finalists announced March 23, 2017 to lead St. Paul Public Schools as superintendent. The candidates are, from left; Joe Gothard, superintendent of the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage school district, Cheryl Logan, chief academic support officer for Philadelphia public schools, and Orlando Ramos, regional superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools. (Courtesy of St. Paul Public Schools)

The superintendent is like the CEO of the district. The superintendent’s job is to put into place the school board’s visions by making daily decisions about: educational programs, budget spending, staff, and schools. The superintendent hires and manages the staff and principals of the district.

The first superintendent candidate was Joseph Gothard. Dr. Gothard went to Edgewood Collage and has a Bachelors degree in Biology Education, a Masters degree in Educational Administration, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. He used to be a principal, and assistant superintendent, in Madison, Wisconsin. He has most recently been the superintendent for the Burnsvill-Eagan-Apple Vally school district.

The second candidate was Cheryl Logan. Dr. Logan has a Bachelors of Science degree, a Masters degree of Educational Leadership, and a Doctorate in Education Policy – from the University of Pennsylvania. She has served as Principal at Parkdale High School in Riverdale, Maryland; principal at Gorman Crossing Elementary School in Laurel, Maryland; and also as assistant superintendent of Schools in the school district of Philadelphia. She has most recently been the chief academic support officer for the Philadelphia school district.

The position of superintendent was said to have a $238,000 salary.

On April 11th, the SPPS school board chose Dr. Joseph Gothard to be the new superintendent of SPPS district. The board said they chose Gothard over Logan because of “[ Dr. Gothard’s] strong leadership experience and knowledge of education in Minnesota.” The board also said ” We were impressed by his public engagement in developing the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District’s strategic ‘Vision One91’ plan. Dr. Gothard is also skilled at bringing people together for a unified vision for a district, and understands racial equity and its impact on student learning.”

The school board and Dr. Gothard are still negotiating the terms of his contract. They hope to have everything finalized by May 1st of this year.

Additional information can be found at: http://www.twincities.com/2017/03/23/who-will-be-st-pauls-next-schools-superintendent-three-finalists-to-be-named/