Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dakota County News

Beet the ice- Beet juice is a new ingredient in the fight against ice and snow on Dakota County roads. It’s something the Dakota County Transportation Department has been testing, and so far, it looks promising.
Beet juice has a lower freezing temperature than magnesium chloride. While the cost per ton is about the same, the beet juice is better for the environment and has the advantage of preventing clumping of the stockpiled salt. It’s also less corrosive than other chemical additives. So it’s not just people who are cutting back on their salt. It has now become popular with Dakota County’s Transportation crews as well. In fact, using beet juice could reduce salt use by as much as 30 percent. Beat that! (Pun intended.) The evaluation of beet juice will continue through February.

For a fully caffeinated reading experience - Just as the land once flowed with milk and honey, Dakota County’s Wescott Library is now flowing with coffee. Patrons—and library staff—can now get a cup of Joe, java or mud at Dewey’s Café, which opened Tuesday, Jan. 18. A grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 29 at the Wescott Library, 1340 Wescott Road, Eagan. Plans are still in the works, but there will be a ribbon cutting, some coffee history and perhaps an opportunity to guess how many coffee beans are in a jar. You really have to have a cup of coffee in your hand to fully appreciate the day’s events. If going to the library already gets you jumping up and down, I recommend the decaf. The café is open during normal library hours and was made possible by a generous contribution from the Friends of the Wescott Library, a volunteer group that supports the library. The total cost was about $50,000. Dewey’s Café will be run as a private business. The owners are Tyler Liedman and Chris McLean. The café offers espresso drinks, lattes, coffee beans, snacks, pastries, juice and soft drinks.

Snow(shoe) day - Hearing about a snow day brings back fond memories. On Wednesday, Feb. 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. students will have what I’ll call a snowshoe day. While anyone age 5 or older is invited, District 196 has conferences that day, which makes it the perfect opportunity for them to get outside and play. Snowshoeing, hanging out by the fire, and making s’mores are all part of the day’s fun. Registration is required and snowshoes are provided. The cost is only $5. Convince an editor that it’s a great story, and you could come too. It’s said that you can’t take a bad picture of kids, dogs or nuns. We’ll have lots of kids. No promises on nuns or dogs. Families are welcome. A park naturalist will be there to give some instructions for those who need them and to lead a hike. Families are also free to roam the trails. Everyone will meet at the Lebanon Hills Visitor Center in the Discovery Room at Lebanon Hills Regional Park, 860 Cliff Road, Eagan.

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