The Community Reporter through the ‘80s

Editor’s Note: As part of Community Reporter’s ongoing recognition of its 50 years of reporting to and from the residents of the West 7th neighborhood, (also referred to as the West End) writer Margaret Kinney delved into the archival issues from the early 1980s to compile on what was newsworthy then. Here is a brief list of what captured her attention, from the early ‘80s and what was to follow.  

By Margaret Kinney
The Saint Paul City Planning Commission completed its review of the Interstate 35 E Parkway freeway, recommending approval of the project to the Saint Paul City Council. Despite all the controversial public hearings, a lawsuit and public outcry against it, the construction of the freeway was set to begin in 1982. Kathy Vadnais, a founder and regular contributor to the Community Reporter, wrote that the construction and resulting traffic through the West 7th neighborhood would destroy all of the hard work that its residents had done since the early ‘70s to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood.  
Vadnais passed away earlier this year.  
The Community Reporter would like to hear, with 40 years of hindsight, from West End residents on whether you think the construction of the freeway was detrimental and/or beneficial to our community. See end of article for how to respond.    
A four-bedroom home on Randolph Ave was listed for sale, asking price $69,900. 
Sandy Pappas, as the Chair of District 9 Communication Center, sought a DFL endorsement for House District 65B. She got the endorsement, won the 1984 election, was elected to the senate in 1990 and still serves our district today.  
Sister Alice Zachman, a missionary nun associated with St.  Stanislaus Parish, went to Washington, D.C., to protest the federal government’s financial aid to the Guatemalan fascist president. Sister Alice founded the Guatemalan Human Rights Commission, supporting Guatemalan victims of torture and murder. In 2019, she was honored by the National Women’s History Alliance for her lifetime work of fighting for human rights.  
Established in 1872, “St. Stan’s” Parish, as it is colloquially known, on Superior Street remains active in the community.  
West 7th resident and historian Gary Brueggemann facilitated a 10-week workshop on the origins of St. Paul. The course was $12 for seniors. Today, Brueggemann remains a historian, teaching history at Century and Inver Hills community colleges.
Timothy Rumsey, M.D., announced the opening of his shared private practice office in the West End. In that same issue was his column about the importance of computerizing health care records to advance communications in patient care.  Retired now, Doctor Rumsey still contributes to the Community Reporter.  
West End community activist, youth organizer and Community Reporter contributor Connie Perozino wrote about the importance of stiffer penalties for driving under the influence, citing drunken driving as a “clear danger to the general public.”  Mothers Against Drunk Driving had been established in Texas in 1980, but it wasn’t a national household name until 1983.  
Perozino passed away in 2003.
April 1983 

The Hmong Enterprise Project was formed to assist Hmong fabric artists to coordinate and expand their efforts to turn their needlework and applique art into a community-wide economic resource.  
This genre of art is now an established commodity in our community.  
Please write to us
Please send your recollections of the last 50 years, or other editorial contributions, to editor@communityreporter.com.  Donate to our fundraising campaign and help this nonprofit newspaper grow for the next 50 years at givemn.org/ organization/Community-Reporter, or send a check to the Community Reporter, 265 Oneida Street, Saint Paul, MN 55102. 
Margaret Kinney is a West End artist and writer and has served on the board of the Community Reporter since 2016.

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