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View Our on page 10 75¢ March 22, 2012• V42.12 In the Community, With the Community, For the Community Weekly Super Savings! Weekly Super Savings! LEFT: Richfield junior point guard Jessica January drives to the basket pursued by a DeLaSalle player during the Spartans’ 65-45 state 3A championship loss Saturday night. January was named to the all-state Class 3A tournament squad along with teammates Sierra Ford-Washington and Bry Guyton. (Photo by Brian Nelson – Contributing Photographer)

Text of D2-Richfield-3-22-12

  • March 22, 2012 V42.12 In the Community, With the Community, For the CommunityCURRENTRichfield

    75

    minnlocal.com

    Flyers take fourth at state. Page 27

    Richfield gives OK toI-494 project, but ...Implores MnDOTto explore CedarAvenue underpassBY ANDREW WIG SUN NEWSPAPERS

    The city of Richfield hasgranted consent for a projectscheduled for Interstate 494 latethis summer.

    The Richfield City Councilvoted unanimously on the reso-lution March 13, giving itsblessing to a $30 million projectthat will include the addition ofa westbound auxiliary lane onthe Interstate between PortlandAvenue and Nicollet Avenue,and between I-35W andHighway 100. Also, the freewayis to be resurfaced betweenHighway 100 and 24th Avenue.MnDOT plans to reconstructthe bridge at I-494 and XerxesAvenue as well. The project willbe funded mainly by federaldollars and cost nothing formunicipalities adjacent to theproject, which also includeBloomington and Edina.

    The consent comes with onecaveat, however. The MinnesotaDepartment of Transportationmust agree to again study thepossibility of an underpass for77th Street beneath CedarAvenue, which would more con-veniently link Richfield to theMall of America area.

    Richfield has long pined for

    such a project. The last time theconcept was studied was 2001,and that study is consideredoutdated.

    The call for a renewed studycomes after some city councilmembers and staff bristled atnews that the 494 project tobe conducted in three phases,with completion scheduled forfall, 2013 would not use anextra 26-feet of corridor thecity of Richfield purchased inaccordance with a MnDOTenvironmental impact studyfrom 2001. City Manager SteveDevich expressed his frustra-tion during a special work ses-sion in January that addressedthe upcoming project.

    I mean, I could look at thatand say, Tough luck; thats theway it is, but weve been look-ing forever for some help fromsomewhere to help us finishthat piece we need to do on 77thStreet, he told an MnDOT rep-resentative at the time.

    At last weeks meeting,Richfield Public WorksDirector Mike Eastling assuredthe council that the language inthe resolution granting consent but demanding considera-tion for the 77th Streetunderpass, is indeed binding,responding to concerns.

    The language referred to thecall for the study as a request,but Eastling said that word willhave the same effect asrequire.

    Spartans secure staterunner-up trophyABOVE: Richfield fans cheer on the Spartan girls basketballteam during the state Class 3A tournament finals March 17at Target Center. Richfield, making its first state appearance,finished second after losing 65-45 to DeLaSalle in the titlegame. The Spartans concluded their season with a 27-5record. (Photo by Brian Nelson Contributing Photographer)

    LEFT: Richfield junior point guard Jessica January drives tothe basket pursued by a DeLaSalle player during theSpartans 65-45 state 3A championship loss Saturday night.January was named to the all-state Class 3A tournamentsquad along with teammates Sierra Ford-Washington andBry Guyton. (Photo by Brian Nelson ContributingPhotographer)

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  • 2 Richfield Sun-Current Thursday, March 22, 2012 www.minnlocal.com In the Community, With the Community, For the Community

    COMMUNITY NOTES

    Harpist plays harpsongs, tells harp jokes

    Harpist Trudy Harper will perform atthe next meeting of the RichfieldChapter of the American Association ofRetired People, Monday, March 26 at 1:30p.m., at the Richfield CommunityCenter, 7000 Nicollet Ave. S.

    Harper, a light-hearted harpist, isquick to tell stories and jokes about whatshe knows: harps and harpists. Sheplays the elegant string instrument, too,performing classical melodies, popularballads and jazzy toe-tappers.

    Info: 612-866-1266 (Pat Miller).

    Watershed districtoffers project grants

    The Lower Minnesota RiverWatershed District, based in Chaska,has created a new program that willaward up to $20,000 in matching fundsthis year to individuals, neighborhoods,or organizations that carry out environ-mental improvement projects.

    The Cost Share Incentive and WaterQuality Restoration Program offers

    money for projects within the District,which includes portions of the cities ofBloomington, Burnsville, Carver,Chaska, Chanhassen, Eagan, EdenPrairie, Mendota, Mendota Heights andShakopee, as well as the Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport.

    Eligible entities, private or public,must submit proposals by April 1 that:

    implement Best ManagementPractices, or

    carry out studies to protect andimprove natural resources.

    Proposals must assist in such proj-ects as protecting or restoring quality oflakes, streams, wetlands, fens, theMinnesota River or groundwater; reduc-ing bluff, stream bank, or main streamerosion; providing public education ben-efits.

    Funds will be awarded to a maximumof $1,000 per single-family residenceproject, $5,000 per neighborhood projectand $20,000 per commercial, industrialor municipal project.

    The district will accept new applica-tions until April 1. Applications will bereviewed by staff and manager, and theawards will be made May 16.

    Info: watersheddistrict.org or 952-856-5880.

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  • In the Community, With the Community, For the Community www.minnlocal.com Thursday, March 22, 2012 Richfield Sun-Current 3

    New discovery art helps those with Alzheimers

    Sheila Van Houten does paintings said to soothe and enliven some of those afflicted with Alzheimers. VanHouten, who offers a variety of services out of her home, including palm reading, discovered her talent for whatshe calls discovery art about a year ago.

    Richfield woman believes supernaturalphenomenon is at workBY ANDREW WIG SUN NEWSPAPERS

    Residents at Sunrise Senior Living inMinnetonka are seeing things. They seebirds, flowers, dancers, men groomingtheir facial hair.

    The visions have been appearing forthe past several months, on the thirdfloor of the assisted living community,in what is called the ReminiscenceNeighborhood, a place set up to comfortfor those with Alzheimers disease.

    Every Tuesday afternoon the resi-dents gather around the dining roomtable in the homey space and stare atglossy 8-by-11-inch cards colorful,splashy abstract prints painted by aRichfield resident who believes she ischanneling something from a spiritualrealm, in a kind of Alzheimers therapythat by all accounts is unprecedented.

    After about five months of the weeklyexercise, of gazing into the work ofSheila Van Houten, the results frominside Sunrises memory care communi-

    ty are phenomenal, staff there say.Normally taciturn residents are

    brought to life when guided through aninterpretation of Van Houtens work,they report. The artist calls it discoveryart, consisting of seemingly randombrush strokes and splotches that seem tocome to life before the right kind of eyes.

    Bloomington resident Dan Dolliff s80-year-old mother, Mary, is in theadvanced stages of Alzheimers. Onething that holds her attention are re-runs of The Lawrence Welk Show. Itwas on one day as Mary sat on the thirdfloor at the Sunrise community.

    Ordinarily she would have beenglued to the music on TV, Dolliff said.

    But then the art came out. It was likesomebody switched the set off and therewas no other competition. It was just thecards, Dolliff said. That was an eye-opener for me.

    Now, his mother, instead of sittingpassive, was subject to 100 percentengagement in what lay before her,tracing shapes and strokes with her fin-gers, Dolliff said.

    DISCOVERY ART: TO PAGE 22

    Many people live their lives sufferingfrom low thyroid symptoms. This is espe-c