January 2015

There are 15 blog entries for January 2015.

There are a few things going on in and around Blaine that I thought you might be interested in this week. Let’s take a look.

It’s Not Too Early to Think about Gardening

Digging in the dirt may seem like some far-off dream at this time of year, but if you hope to rent one of the 48 plots at the Blaine Community Garden you’ll need to get your reservation in by February 20. Now, this date is set aside for returning gardeners that want the same plot they had last season.

If you’re new to the community garden, or if you’re a returning gardener and you want a different plot, the registration window opens on March 2 and goes through March 6. Registration for non-Blaine residents opens on March 9.

If you’re new to the community garden concept in

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Thumbs Up - Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahreido/3120877348

On January 8th 2015, the Blaine Economic Development Authority approved an agreement for a purchase of the sale of two different senior apartments owned by the city. This purchase agreement is a significant step in the process of making an actual sale. The closing date for the sale has yet to be decided.

Clack Arneson, a city manager, has guessed that it will be somewhere between 90 and 120 days before the new management company decides to take over.

The Rental Rates

Back in 2013, it was announced that the rental rates of one of these apartment places would be raised by 3.5% and the other one would be raised by 4%. In 2015, they expect to raise the rental rates of both places by 5%.

What does this mean for anyone currently living there?

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The Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS has released their December housing market statistics and there’s lots of good news in them for homeowners thinking of selling a home in Blaine.

There’s also a bit of good news for those hoping to buy a house in Blaine.

More homeowners listed their homes for sale in Blaine in December 2014 than the previous December. New listings increased 6.1 percent. The problem, at least for buyers, is that more homes sold – closed sales increased 21.3 percent over last year – so the overall inventory of available homes in Blaine decreased 1.3 percent.

Homeowners take note: the median sales price of a home in Blaine increased 9.1 percent to $227,500.

Homes remained on the market longer than in December 2013 –

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Stethoscope - Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/katerha/4481575790

The FastTRAC Health Care Pathways Program and its graduates of Anoka County are finding a lot of success is waiting for them. You might be asking yourself – just what is this program?

What is This Program?

This is a program that has one goal in mind – to help students earn a total of seven college credits in addition to a credential to be a Certified Nursing Assistant. This is one of the eight programs across the state that has received the Commissioner’s Circle of Excellence Award in 2014.

When and Why Did This Program Start?

It was in 2011 that this program first started when the county’s job center received a grant thanks to the Department of Employment and Economic Development. Thanks to the funding, the training center was able to

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The Blaine Council has addressed the massive housing development taking place in northeast Blaine right now. The residential development proposal north of Lexington Athletic Complex is already under construction.

The property is east of Lexington Avenue and south of 125th Avenue. The 137-acre property used to be farm land owned by the Elwell family in the 1880s. Now a proposal is to make it a residential area for single family homes, townhomes, apartments and more. Here is a look at the current situation.

What is the proposal?

The Planning and Community Development Director has proposed a residential area to come into this former Finnemann family farm, previously demolished in June, to include:

  • 170 single family homes
  • 90-100
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Design Pattern

With the arrival of 2015, design trends are starting to fade out from last year while new trends are beginning to take their place. Designers have been talking about the trends to expect for 2015 and about the fads that are going to be forgotten for 2014. From implanting implementing cowhide accents to bringing back wallpaper, here is a look at the new fads for 2015 and what trends from last year will take a backseat.

Cowhide Accents

A new trend entering the 2015 season is cowhide. It’s considered the idea accent texture for this year according to designers. It’s modern and yet approachable. They find it aesthetically pleasing and it offers a great texture. You’ll find it in throw blankets, rugs and pillows. Sometimes you’ll even see it artwork.

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It’s funny how people throw around regionalisms just assuming everyone knows what we mean. Now, I’m not sure if the word “geocaching” would be considered a true regionalism or not, but I do know that newcomers to our area from some other parts of the country don’t have a clue what it means. 

 Geocaching is sort of like a treasure hunt. Someone hides a container with items inside – that’s the cache – and then records the location with a GPS. The GPS coordinates are then published at geocaching.com with a description of what’s in the cache. Then, other folks go out and hunt for it.

 The “geo” in geocaching relates somewhat to the fact that the hunt takes place outdoors. Typical hiding places include inside logs, under other objects – anywhere

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Organized Home - Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/beija/496631023

Having an organized home is a great way to feel less stressed out on a daily basis. Many people make it their New Year’s resolutions to become more organized and clean up their lives. While it can be a daunting chore and overwhelming, it will make your life so much easier and relaxing.

A good place to start is to pick a place for everything and then you can begin to tackle the organizing and labeling. Here are a few rules to having a more organized home.

Place things in useful locations

Rather than storing coupons and advertisements in a drawer, put them by the phone where you’ll remember to use them. Rather than putting towels tucked away in a closet, put them on a shelf in the bathroom where they will be easily accessible.

All of your

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Expansion is taking place at the Springbrook Nature Center. The project is to renovate the building in order to expand and the design has been approved by the Fridley City Council members partnering with Partner & Sirny Architects.

This approval took place on December 8th and the bonding bill passed this year included $5 million for improvements at the Fridley Springbrook Nature Center. The expansion design includes expanding education, using “green” technology and increasing park visitation. Here is a look at the expansion design approval for Springbrook Nature Center.

SPRING Project

The SPRING project, which stands for Sanctuary Protection and Renewal into the Next Generation” includes expanding educational opportunities, using “green”

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You may be downsizing or relocating for a new job but whatever the reason, moving can be very expensive.

Some surprising costs of moving include:

  • Fees to move or connect services.
  • Deposits on Utilities.
  • Buying curtains and rugs.
  • Cleaning supplies, packing material or a night or two spent in a hotel.
  • Any fees related to moving out of your old place.

Prepare your Finances for your Upcoming Move

Once you know that you are going to be moving you should start saving money monthly. You should also plan on an additional 10% in unexpected moving expenses, as well. Create a separate account and put money into it like it is just another bill that you have to pay. In case you don’t know when you will be moving you should just start

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