Remember When: 1986

Compiled by Don McNeil, Shakopee Heritage Society

From the Shakopee Valley News

March 12, 1986 – Salute to Shakopee at ’86 Taste of MN. St. Paul mayor George Latimer had a good taste in his mouth last Wednesday when he met with Shakopee mayor Eldon Reinke and other city officials. Latimer flew into Flying Cloud Airport to invite the City of Shakopee to participate in this summer’s Taste of Minnesota Festival that will feature and salute four southern Minnesota cities. The cities are Shakopee, Marshall, New Ulm and Rochester. Each city will be featured for one day at the festival. Latimer commented, “you’ve got so much to offer the state.” “You have businesses, attractions and history. If you had any more, you’d be St. Paul.”

March 12, 1986 – Murphy’s Landing will be holding an auction on May 17. Donations are currently being sought for the auction. They are looking for donations of antiques and collectibles as well as other items that are saleable. Buttons must be purchased in order to attend the auction. The buttons will also be used for a drawing.

March 12, 1986 – Hours expanded for city pool – Shakopee Community Services Director George Muenchow stated the pool will be open June 7 to Aug. 24. Prices will be the same as last year. A daily ticket will be $1.00 for children and $1.25 for adults. Senior citizens are admitted free. The water slide will be $1.00 for four runs or $2.50 for the session.

March 19, 1986 – The Shakopee Coalition recently instituted a recognition program for volunteers and named Joan Salter its first recipient. Salter was presented the Don Schultz Award as Shakopee Volunteer of the Month for March 1986. Brian Norris, Chair of the Shakopee Coalition, listed her many accomplishments.

March 19, 1986 – City of Shakopee might be “Star City.” The “Star City” program, sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Energy and Economic Development, is intended to get communities involved in economic and/or community development. The process is more significant than the designation. To attain “Star City” status, community representatives must attend an annual training conference, as well as complete eleven steps. Shakopee only has four steps left to complete.

March 26, 1986 – Five possible sites for a new Highway 169 bridge have been selected. The alternatives have been sent to a consulting firm. Burton-Ashman will do an environmental assessment of the alternatives, taking into account the environmental, social and economic impact of each one. The city engineer stated that, “we’re looking at a possible pedestrian overpass from the high rise over the bypass.” The project is scheduled to begin in 1990.

March 26, 1986 – Shakopee will soon be making some important financial decisions that may affect how much development occurs in the future. The Shakopee City Council was scheduled to start discussing and re-evaluating an existing policy on Tax Increment Financing (TIF). TIF is a financing tool that cities can use to attract developers. When a TIF district is established, the existing taxes on the land are frozen for a specific amount of time. Shakopee has five TIF districts.

March 26, 1986 – Men and women walked up and down First Avenue this week with signs which asked for help in safely crossing First Avenue. The residents said First Avenue is full of hazards for pedestrians. The hazards they listed in the petition included: short “walk” lights, speeding; running of red lights; and failure of traffic to yield to pedestrians.

March 26, 1986 – Shakopee School District Technology Coordinator Ron Ward and Minnesota Correctional Facility Education Director Roger Knudson manned video cameras at Shakopee High School. The two television monitors provided pictures of the students in the classroom and the female inmates at the state prison in Shakopee. The two institutions were linked for the education exchange by cable TV. Ward’s and Knudson’s idea allowed a hook-up with three social studies classes. The hook up is part of the institutional network that is run through Zylstra-United Cable Company. People who subscribe to cable TV could potentially get some of the programs and the classwork. “We could offer the community something – it’s not just for people in prison.”

March 26, 1986 – Canterbury Downs’ first year exceeded expectations. Minnesota’s first horse racing track opened in Shakopee last year, bringing about 13,000 people a day into the area between June and October. Canterbury Downs Publicity Director Ben Cambra said the track’s first year was better than expected. The track brought about 800 seasonal jobs to the area. In addition about 700 people worked in the backstretch. There are about 60 year-round jobs. “We contributed about $4.5 million to the state through a portion of the money that was brought in,” Cambra said. “Canterbury Downs is the only major league outdoor sport in town,” Cambra commented. “We have our own niche.”

March 26, 1986 – Guests are coming…about 3,200,000 of them…hopefully for dinner, drinks, a room overnight. Because the Chamber of Commerce feels the better we look and the better we act…the longer our guests will stay…this summer, bright beautiful banners will line Shakopee’s main street to welcome our guests!

March 26, 1986 – Riverboat tours are available four times a day in the summer by Creative River Tours. Owners, John Constantine and Greg Anderson also take private charter tours down the Minnesota River. The tour takes in the river from Murphy’s Landing to the Highway 169 bridge to ½ mile beyond Murphy’s and back to Murphy’s.

April 2, 1986 – 1-Hour photo shop opens in Shakopee…Photo Finish opened in Shakopee Bowl in December with the chance to get film developed within just one hour. Owner Marlene Jarrett and her son, Chuck Berg, said they can develop 35, 110, 126 or disc film. “One night we were sitting at Happy Chef and we started thinking about what we could get into to diversify. We needed a business that wouldn’t conflict with the bowling alley,” Jarrett said. “The two businesses complement each other”, Berg said. Photo Finish is probably the most interesting business I’ve ever been in”, Berg said.

April 2, 1986 – McGraw opens new clinic. Dr. Daniel McGraw has only been in his chiropractic office for about two weeks, but he said he already has a lot of patients. “I’ve got lots of patients,” he said. “I’m real busy and real happy with that.” McGraw opened his office in the former Minnegasco building on March 17, with his assistant and fiancée, Mary Seivert. He said he decided to open an office in Shakopee because, “Shakopee is a progressing, friendly little town.”

April 16, 1986 – Shakopee Police Chief Tom Brownell said fireworks are illegal in the State of Minnesota and therefore, in Shakopee. The bottom line is, the only legal fireworks are cap pistols and caps and no other type of fireworks.

April 16, 1986 – Communities in the southwest metro area aren’t getting a fair shake on their future population growth estimates by the Met Council. That’s the position to be argued by a lobbyist who will be paid by several cities, with support from Carver and Scott counties as well.

April 30, 1986 – Duane Wermerskirchen never intended to own a jewelry store. Duane owns a dental lab. One day, he discovered he knew how to make things from gold. He began making jewelry for his wife, Pam, and the word began to spread.

May 7, 1986Social Security Won’t Disappear by Sen. Rudy Boschwitz:
Every year as we in Congress try to hammer out a federal budget, there is talk about possible cuts in the Social Security program. That kind of speculation has escalated this year. “I spent three years reviewing the Social Security program and I have no doubts that Social Security will be around to serve my children and grandchildren too.”

May 14, 1986 – Steve Bremmer, owner of Bremmer’s Truck and Repair is restoring a 1939 fire engine in this shop. Bremmer can make old fire engines ready for parades.

May 21, 1986 – Murphy’s Landing held an auction and netted a total of $13,000 for the day. The money will help to repair the floors and roofs of some of the old homes.

May 21, 1986 – Minnesota Job Service plans to undertake efforts to encourage the hiring of their clients. A statewide marketing effort to encourage employers to hire workers through Job Service (the State Employment Agency) has been announced by Commissioner Joe Samargia of the Minnesota Department of Jobs and Training.

June 4, 1986 – Workmen used bright artificial lights to illuminate the city water tower east of Sweeney Elementary School on 10th Avenue. They were patching the structure to prepare it for a new paint job.

June 4, 1986 – Banners welcoming tourists between Apgar Street on the west and Marschall Road on the east – 42 bright yellow banners have been hung from city utility poles on First Avenue. Seven different messages are portrayed. The logo and name of five area attractions: Canterbury Downs, Little Six Bingo, Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Murphy’s Landing and Valleyfair, plus “Welcome to Shakopee” by the city and “Welcome” from the Chamber of Commerce.

June 18, 1986 – County libraries showed circulation growth in 1985. Libraries are no longer places just for checking out books. Libraries in Scott County answered more than 32,000 reference questions and sponsored more than 400 programs. The library staff keeps track of everything; all the numbers have to be reported to the state.

June 25, 1986 – Survey says many are willing to pay food tax. A recent survey of American consumers indicates they are not only aware of the financial plight of many of the nation’s farmers, but are willing to give them a helping hand through a one-year, one percent national sales tax on groceries.

Rick Berg helped pull truck driver Ed Wschola from his burning semi cab. Wschola’s truck, carrying 8200 gallons of gasoline, overturned and caught fire. The fire melted the tanker because firemen let the gasoline burn rather than have it flow into the ground or streams nearby.

A man who allegedly burglarized 20 homes in Shakopee is now in custody at the Scott County Jail. Jesse Wright, 25, allegedly burglarized the homes during about a one-month period. According to police, he confessed to a majority of the burglaries.

Employees of Canterbury Downs will vote later this week on which union, if any, they want to represent them. It will be their first opportunity to decide about union representation, even though many had to join a union or not work.

Corn Power! – American corn farmers, including many in Minnesota, are hoping consumers pay no heed to the rampant “No Ethanol” campaign being propagated by some oil companies and many more local dealers. At least they are hoping that consumers will listen to their side of the story. Some oil companies and dealers refuse to carry the blend, claiming that it causes problems with engines.

In 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt called the first presidential conference on small business. Because fist fights broke out between the delegates, very little was accomplished and another conference was not held until 1980.

If you are one of those drivers who doesn’t like to endure bumpy railroad tracks…here’s good news for you…at least some of the crossings in Shakopee may soon be rubberized.

After police officers started aggressively ticketing traffic violators at the intersection of County Roads 42 and 27, Savage Police Chief Gordon Vlasak thought the complaints about traffic snarls would stop…they did. However, the increased patrol brought a new wave of complaints from several violators vehemently protesting their tickets and the accompanying $44 fines.

On any given night in the Twin Cities area, about 1100 people are homeless, a Metropolitan Council committee report estimates. In a year, the report says, about 36,500 people move through the region’s system of shelters and emergency housing, or spend time living on the streets.

Become a word processor, an electronic repair technician, an accounting clerk, a computer operator or programmer. These are a sample of the occupations for which you can train at no cost to you. The Twin Cities Opportunities Industrialization Center has been providing full scholarship training to all its students since 1966.

It’s now possible to see a doctor taking out tonsils the old-fashioned, and probably very painful way in Shakopee. The circa 1880’s doctor’s office is one of four new attractions at Murphy’s Landing which opened at the 1860’s-1880’s representative village.

The Second Avenue parking lot, which is almost finished, features a red brick retaining wall, concrete steps down to Second Avenue, trees and a wooden railing. Decorative light poles will be installed. The parking lot, located between Holmes and Lewis streets, was built as a demonstration model for the downtown’s future “streetscape” project.

Ziegler Tire of Shakopee recently had lights, cameras and lots of action when a Minnetonka firm shot a training video for Bandag, Inc., a tire retreading company. Bandag will use the finished product as part of a custom training system for its 1000 international tire dealers.

“SuperAmerica Man,” a 10-foot tall inflated character with Pat Evans inside, was on hand at the revamped Shakopee SuperAmerica service station and convenience store. The station re-opened after a large expansion, regular gas selling for 85 cents a gallon.

A new shopping complex is being developed in Shakopee, but the developers are “mum” as to what kind of tenant will be occupying the space. The complex is under construction on County Road 17. Bill Henning & Co, Shakopee is the contractor for the project. Scott Realty, Inc. of Shakopee is handling the leasing.

The population in the Twin Cities metro area increased 6.7% between 1980 and 1986 according to a new Met Council estimate. During that same period, Shakopee’s population increased an estimated 13% based on the 1980 census figure of 9941 and the April 1, 1986, estimated population of 11,236. The estimated metro population on April 1, 1986 was 2,118,222 up 132,349 since 1980. The seven-county Twin Cities area is the 16th largest metropolitan area in the U.S.

Shakopee woman preaches work as key to longevity…most of us will never live as long as Gussie Strehlow, but for those of us who wonder what might be the key to attaining a healthy 98 years, she insists that it is working, which will bring happiness…”keep active.”

City budget was based on decreased assessed valuation….the question is to what extent we’re going to minimize the impact of the loss of the $7M in value and preserve the unexpectedly large dip in property taxes in 1986.

A downtown Shakopee businessman has quit the Shakopee Downtown Ad Hoc Committee because two other business owners threatened him. The action is linked to a petition regarding the downtown streetscape project. He resigned shortly after joining the committee.

The Royal Lichtenstein Circus will present a free performance at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Normandale Community College. In its one-hour performance, the circus will feature a lightning-paced potpourri of juggling, comedy, aerial bar antics, magic, music, domestic and exotic trained animal acts and two narrated mime fables.

Ethanol information is incorrect…by Sen. Dave Durenberger – At this year’s Minnesota State Fair, several dozen fairgoers stopped to question me about the future of the country’s fuel ethanol industry. Is the future of ethanol threatened…for example, by continuing low gas prices? And, what about all the claims that ethanol hurts automobile engines? National security and U.S. economic interests insist that we continue to reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil.

Tax bill will improve economy…by Sen. Rudy Boschwitz – The tax bill which is expected to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by President Reagan this fall, is the great surprise of 1986 in Washington. The bill, which looked like a goner only four months ago, has whizzed through Congress in a whirlwind. It will change the nature of our tax system and I think it will improve tax fairness and strengthen our economy.

A paperback reprint of a book describing in detail how Minnesota’s Dakota Indians lived 150 years ago recently was published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. Written by missionary Samuel W. Pond, one of the first settlers in Shakopee, “The Dakota or Sioux in Minnesota As They Were in 1834” is unrivaled today for its accurate and thorough discussion of Dakota culture and social, political, religious and economic institutions, writes historian Gary Clayton Anderson in his introduction to this book.

Prescription Advisor Gary Gustafson, R.PA…an integral part of our pharmacy service is involved with checking, double checking and then checking one more time to be absolutely positive. Sure it takes much extra time to do this on every prescription, but when it comes to dispensing a medicine there is no way we can take a chance that something may be wrong…Eastman Eagle Drug, 214 S. Holmes.

Sheila Mitchell of Shakopee calls the birth of her first child 16 years ago, “an experiment in terror”. She said she was left in a dark little room. Her husband Paul could not be with her. No one checked on her and the nurses were curt, telling her, “thousands of women have had children before, you’re no different, so quit screaming.”

Some renters and property owners in Shakopee may be surprised one of these days when they get a warning ticket in the mail. The City is cracking down on renters’ code violations according to City Code Enforcement Officer Howard Jones.

The Scott-Carver Economic Council could be considered a maiden name, relegated now to inclusion only in parenthesis. If you please, the new name is Scott-Carver-Dakota Community Action Agency, Inc.

People now between the ages of 67 and 72 who want to continue giving blood – or who want to give for the first time – will no longer be turned away according to the St. Paul Regional Red Cross Blood Services, which includes Scott County.

A Shakopee man who has just had his first song recorded said he is, “excited” about it. Dale Potthast, a carpenter by trade, wrote the song “Lost Soul” which appears on the newest release from Rainbow Records of Hollywood, California. The album “Hallelujah” features gospel songs by writers from all over the country.

“Welcome to Pablo’s,” the menu says and goes on to list a large assortment of tasty Mexican dishes – tacos, enchiladas, burritos, tostados, chimichangas, nachos. quesadillas, and more…much more…Pablo’s Restaurant, located at 230 Lewis Street, is Shakopee’s newest restaurant.

“I remember you,” Eagle Drug pharmacist Gary Gustafson chatted with Gov. Rudy Perpich. “You were my first dentist,” Gustafson told the governor who was in Shakopee to stump for DFL candidates Bob Schmitz, Becky Kelso and Bob Jenson.

Soon the City of Shakopee may own a hotel. This one, though, might not attract many overnight guests. The Merchant’s Hotel, which was declared unfit for human occupancy in July 1985, may be the city’s newest acquisition. The hotel’s owner recently asked the city to purchase the property.

Dave and Diane Bloom have had a busy year. Besides getting married last September and expecting their first child this month, they bought the Mr. Donut in Shakopee. The Blooms took over the Mr. Donut franchise located at 1037 East First Avenue.

City Council sets 18.5 target mill rate…higher taxes likely. If the city can achieve the 18.5 mill target rate set by the city council, taxes on a home worth about $84,000 will increase about $26. The drop in taxes this year came because of an increase in the taxable assessed value of the city. That increase, $7 million worth, was due to the addition of the value of Canterbury Downs. This year, the value of Canterbury Downs, about $18 million, is not taxable since it was financed through tax increment financing (TIF). When the TIF district for the track was set up, the city decided it would not start capturing the increment until this year.

The site of the former Women’s State Prison in Shakopee is up for sale. However, not just anyone can buy it, at least not yet. The property is owned by the state. At this point, the property can only be sold to local units of government. The state offered the property to the county and the school district, both of whom turned it down. The city has no use for the site, but it still may buy the land and turn around and sell it to a developer. The city council authorized the city staff to send out requests for proposals.

After a little more than three months the robbery at First National Bank of Shakopee remains a mystery. According to the FBI, the robbery is still under investigation. The bank was held up by a lone robber at 10:15 a.m. when a man walked up to a teller and asked her to change a bill, then indicated that he was holding up the bank and told her to give him what was in her cash drawer.

Downtown property owners will have a chance to give some input into the proposed downtown development project before a feasibility study is completed. The city will be holding three informal meetings to explain the Streetscape Project to affected owners. A representative from Westwood Planning, the consulting firm for the project, will be at the meetings to go over Streetscape elements that are being recommended by the Downtown Ad Hoc Committee.

Shakopee will soon have a mini-park. The Stans Foundation, named for former resident Maurice Stans, will be building a mini-park on Second Avenue between Holmes and Fuller Streets. The park will consist of the existing two-story home, plus a gazebo, trees, paths, benches and flowers.

Canterbury Press was reportedly burglarized according to police. Manager Richard Coulter said someone broke into the building by punching a hole through the plaster walls and opening a door in the south end of the building. The report said a Panasonic tape deck valued at $100 was taken from a desk. Also taken were a case of Stroh’s beer valued at $10 from an upstairs refrigerator, a Craftsman Micrometer valued at $40 and a pair of keys for a forklift.

Shakopee Area Transit (SAT) is looking for new van pool riders. Routes are now forming and several empty seats remain for commuters heading to downtown Minneapolis, the U of M, Normandale, and the State Capitol.

Editorial: Are you tired of driving around the Bloomington Ferry Bridge – Again?
Are you tired of contending with the additional traffic detour through Shakopee whenever the high water of the Minnesota River forces the closure of the Bloomington Ferry Bridge Road (County Road 18) again? With high water on the Minnesota and the inconvenience caused by it a regular occurrence, it’s time to say, “I’m sick and tired of it, and I’m not going to take it anymore!” It’s time for Shakopee residents to stand up and say, “Let’s get that new Bloomington Ferry Bridge built!”

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